Kelly Fleet Services has saved £800,000 over the past five years by challenging parking fines.
The telecommunications and transportation infrastructure provider has a fleet of 1,450 vans and 120 cars.
Last year alone it received 3,047 offences, including 1,825 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), 1,011 camera offences and 211 private fines.
As the majority of the engineers' work is carried out in London, most fines are issued there.
In the first two months of this year, engineers have picked up 400 fines in London, at an average of 22 a day.
Terry Moore (pictured), parking control manager at Kelly Fleet Services, appeals about 85% of the fines received. Of those he appeals about 60% are cancelled.
There is a clear process in place for drivers. As soon as an engineer is issued a parking fine they phone the company’s dedicated phone line which is manned by Moore.
Moore’s first step is to check that the driver has stuck to company policy. They must use a pay and display bay (paid for by the company) in the first instance. If pay and display isn’t an option they should park in a permit bay. The last option is parking on a single yellow line.
If the engineer hasn’t followed this procedure Kelly Fleet Services will pay the fine and then recharge the driver. Drivers are also recharged if they park on a double yellow line.
If it is a valid appeal, Moore submits it the day it is reported.
“The documents we provide can run to 10 pages,” he says. “Typically we provide a work order showing the street name and the date, and photographs of the coned off vehicle.”
Appealing can be a nine to 10 month process if both the informal and formal appeals are rejected and can mean providing the documents three times.
Some appeals are rejected because the engineer was not seen next to the vehicle but Moore points out that the engineer might have to chase underground cables from pit to pit and it wouldn’t make sense to move the vehicle each time.
“Some councils understand, some don’t,” he says.
He has sought formal dispensation but councils expect the company to pay for a parking permit.
“We’re working on street furniture, we shouldn’t need to pay for permit,” Moore says.
To try and reduce the number of fines it receives Kelly Fleet Services also educates drivers about parking rules and restrictions.
It includes a four-hour parking session in its training course for new drivers. The session covers camera offences, bus lanes, red routes and parking contraventions as well as testing drivers’ knowledge of signs. Refresher training is also carried out when rules change.