'Better facilities, not bigger fines'

Updated: Mar 20, 2018

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is warning that increased fines are not the solution to illegal truck parking in Kent.  

The UK’s leading body representing the logistics sector says the problem will only be solved when there are adequate clean and secure parking facilities for hard-working truck drivers.

Ashford Borough Council has received approval from the Department for Transport to increase the fines imposed as part of its overnight truck parking enforcement trial.  FTA understands the charge to truck operators will go up sharply from £40 per infringement to £150 and has been told the additional money will be used to cover the full cost of issuing penalty notices and processing payments.

While FTA appreciates the desire to ensure the scheme is fully funded, the association’s Policy Manager for the South East, Heidi Skinner says this sudden increase is poorly planned and disproportionate:

“We are shocked by Ashford Borough Council’s decision to increase fines in this way with so little warning or consultation.  The clamping scheme has only been in place for a couple of months, so making such a dramatic increase so quickly and with very little warning is excessive.  Truck drivers keep Britain trading by providing a public service, helping to keep all of us supplied with food and other goods.  They shouldn’t be penalised in this way.”

Heidi Skinner has pointed out that the government and local authorities should focus on ensuring that the facilities provided for drivers are hygienic and secure enough for drivers to be able to park their and not feel forced into parking in lay bys in town centres.

As skilled professionals who have strict driving hours to abide by, they are required by law to take regular breaks. It seems unfair to punish drivers with such excessively high fines when the facilities provided to them for breaks, are sub-standard.

Taken from: UK Haulier