Wrongful fines for parking or stopping in loading bays have cost UK van drivers more than £1.7 million over the past three years, according to new research.
A study conducted on behalf of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles found councils issued an average of 13,000 such parking fines a year since 2015, with figures rising 10 percent year-on-year.
Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (23 percent) of appeals against wrongful fines were upheld.
According to VW, this shows how the rules around loading bays are increasingly unclear for van drivers.
Legally, the majority of 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.
Additionally, drivers are not permitted to stop in a loading bay without loading or unloading or to use it to wait for parking. It is also always important to check the time restrictions within each loading bay as these vary from council to council. Loading bays cannot be used for collecting or dropping off passengers.
Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, commented, “As this research reveals, Penalty Charge Notices (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.”