Fleet News

Food firm cuts its parking fines by £350,000 a year

A food distribution fleet has slashed its parking fine bill by £350,000 per year after signing up to a service that included driver training, exemption negotiation and appeals handling.

The company was having a major Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) problem, particularly when delivering to customers in central London.

However, parkingappeals.co.uk claims its new online and consultancy service – Parking Appeals Commercial - helped slash the 400-strong fleet’s PCN bill by more than half.

“The company was acquiring more than £1 million worth of PCNs per annum and paying £600,000,” explained Neil Herron, founder of parkingappeals.co.uk. “Their appeals were unstructured and there was no overall central policy.

“However, we were able to put systems in place to assist with the training of drivers in ‘PCN awareness’, which included tutorials and training modules on understanding parking and loading restrictions as well as understanding loading protocols.”

The company’s depots were also encouraged to join Transport for London’s freight operator’s recognition scheme, which helps establish benchmarks across a number of areas such as CO2 and fuel reduction, as well as PCN handling.

In addition, negotiations were undertaken with local authorities to streamline kerbside management and work towards PCN reduction by consent and best practice, including developing a Memorandum of Understanding and delivery time analysis.

“The timescale for the reductions, which has also included preparing a full appeals letter library and matrix and flow procedure, has taken 18 months and the company now has an efficient system, which has also led to indirect savings in administration costs,” added Herron. “The actual cost of implementing this worked out at less than 30% of the savings thereby produced an increase in returns for the company.”

Parking expert Richard Bentley, of RMB Consulting, who recently gave a presentation to ACFO members at their AGM, said fleets faced problems from both private operators and local councils.

“When you consider the ‘parking industry’ as a whole, it takes in the region of £1.5 billion per year,” explained Bentley. “However, where councils are concerned the legislation makes it clear that they cannot use parking as a revenue generator.

“But with the Government committed to cutting expenditure in the public sector, the fact is this cash cow will be milked further.”

Herron added: “At a time when companies are looking to cut costs, PCNs are one cost that can be drastically reduced by bringing in experts and this invariable leads to direct and indirect savings and fewer PCN headaches.”

For more information on saving money for your fleet, check out the fleet news tools section.

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