TNT Express is calling on the government to review the “often substantially inadequate” loading and unloading facilities in many city centres, in particular around Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) ‘hotspots’.

In its response to the Transport Select Committee’s research questions on local authority parking enforcement, the courier firm highlights the main issues affecting the delivery of the 150 million items it handles per year.

TNT said for kerbside deliveries to be effective, collaboration and an understanding of the requirements of loading/unloading is needed between drivers of commercial vehicles, operators, street planners and local authorities.

It warned: “Failure by any of these parties to act appropriately may result in the delivery company receiving a PCN. Indeed, this is one of the most contentious issues in the freight and highway/enforcement authority arena today.”

The operator said that loading and unloading facilities in city centres are often inadequate, and as online shopping and home deliveries increase, so does the requirement for more places to legally stop for drop-offs or collections.

“A review of the existing provision for loading and unloading, particularly in PCN Hot Spots, could enable delivery activities to be integrated more successfully into a street’s day-to-day operation,” it added.

750% increase in parking fines issued

Also a concern for TNT was the potential introduction of cashless parking sensors, which are on trial in Westminster, and operated by a parking enforcement company. It said data from a similar system, already running in Perth, Australia, has revealed a 750% increase in parking fines issued, as the system - dubbed the “meter eye” - is able to direct traffic wardens to people overstaying their time slots.

TNT warned: “Our annual expenditure on PCN’s is a significant six-figure sum in London alone. We are concerned that the introduction of similar parking technology systems throughout the UK could result in unsustainable constraints being placed on our ability to service the UK economy.

"We would therefore recommend that safeguards and restrictions be mandated on the uses of such equipment by local authorities.”

The express delivery firm also called for surplus funds generated by parking fines to be ring-fenced for investment in improving transport infrastructure and loading provisions.