Incorrectly parking or stopping in loading bays has cost UK van drivers £1.7 million in the past three years, according to new research.
Figures from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles show that councils have issued an average of 13,000 parking fines a year since 2015 with figures rising by 10% year-on-year.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles said this highlights how the rules around loading bays are increasingly unclear for van drivers. This is backed up by research showing that 23% of appeals against Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for incorrect use of a loading bay were successful.
Legally, van drivers can stop at a loading bay to drop off or collect goods, but thousands don’t fully understand the rules.
For instance, most loading bays can be used to collect pre-ordered goods or unload goods that require a vehicle to transport them. If a vehicle is left unattended, it needs to be clear – through the use of hazards, for example – that goods are being loaded and unloaded.
But drivers are not permitted to stop in a loading bay without loading or unloading, use it to wait for parking or collect/drop off passengers. Additionally, loading bays have time restrictions on them, which vary from council to council. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles recommends using parking apps to check the rules in each area.
The council that has issued the most loading bay PCNs is Glasgow, with a 106,752 issued between 2015 and 2018, according to a Freedom of Information request made by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as part of the research. This was more than double the next highest number of PCNs, which was 39,125 issued in Manchester. Haringey in London had the next highest number, with 30,869, followed by Bristol with 27,749.
Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “PCNs are costing businesses thousands of pounds a year when, in fact, they can be avoided completely if you understand the rules correctly. Loading bays are an essential part of the red route network as they allow businesses to access central locations to make and receive important deliveries. As the rules change between councils, it is crucial that you check before you park.”