Loading bay tickets cost UK van drivers almost £600,000 a year

Van drivers in the UK have been fined £1.7m over the past three years for incorrectly parking or stopping in a loading bay, according to research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The study found that councils have issued an average of 13,000 parking fines a year since 2015, with the figures rising by around 10% year-on-year.

Yet almost a quarter (23%) of appeals against penalty charge notices (PCNs) for loading bays are successful, suggesting that the rules have become “increasingly unclear” for van drivers, VW said.

Under the law, van drivers are allowed to stop in a loading bay to drop off or collect goods, but many bays are subject to time restrictions that vary from council to council. Loading bay signs should show the hours when these restrictions are in place.

If a vehicle is left unattended, the driver should make it clear that goods are being loaded or unloaded — for example by turning on the hazard lights or displaying a sign.

Drivers are not permitted to stop in a loading bay without loading or unloading or to use it to wait for parking. And a loading bay cannot be used for collecting or dropping off passengers.

The data, obtained through Freedom of Information requests sent to 51 councils in the UK, revealed that Glasgow tops the chart for loading bay parking tickets, with almost 107,000 issued in the past three years.

Second-placed Manchester issued just over 39,000 in the same period, while Haringey, in third place, issued just under 31,000.

Other entrants in the top 10 included Bristol, Liverpool, Nottingham and Leicester, and the London districts of Newham, Camden and Barnet.

Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said that loading bay tickets are costing businesses thousands of pounds every year and it’s vital for drivers to be aware of the rules.

“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,” she added.

“As the rules change between councils, it is crucial that you check before you park.”

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