Park Smart: Top Tips to Avoid Parking Fines for Delivery Drivers

As any driver knows, it can be all too difficult to find safe and legal parking. While this may be a pain for any road users, it’s all the more serious for those doing delivery work. Being unable to park can make it difficult to fulfil jobs in this time-sensitive industry, and getting hit with a parking fine can make work unprofitable or, worse, make it harder for couriers to get jobs. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to stay on top of parking regulations and avoid getting hit with a penalty charge.

Types of Ticket

There are different sorts of restrictions all over the UK, and different sorts of parking tickets to go with them.

Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)
The most common type of ticket, these are issued by local authorities and parking attendants. They act as a notice that the driver is due to pay and additional charges can be levied for failure to comply.

Fixed Penalty Notice

These are usually issued by the police or police traffic officers, and are often more serious than PCNs. Accordingly, they’re dealt with through the criminal justice system.

Parking Charge Notice

Finally, breaching restrictions on private land, including privately owned carparks, can land you with one of these.

Each of these types of ticket can be appealed, although the process can be confusing and is often unsuccessful.

Read the Signs

As there are no hard and fast rules with parking regulations, your best bet is always to read and understand any signs and markings. This includes common ones such as single and double yellow lines as well as more detailed signage. While we can’t go through all the variations in detail here, we will cover some of the basics you’ll need in order to carry out your delivery work.

Lines on the Road

A double yellow line indicates no parking at any time, but vehicles are allowed to stop for ‘as long as is reasonably necessary’ to conduct business. Although loading and unloading is often regulated by additional area-specific rules, in general, passengers must wait at or near the kerbside and drivers must be able to demonstrate a prior arrangement. In addition, some disabled blue badge holders can park on double yellow lines in some areas, but no parking is allowed at any time on double red lines. Another exception to note when doing delivery work is the presence of ‘blips’ – horizontal yellow or red marks on the pavement.

Time-Sensitive Restrictions

Both ‘blips’ and single lines vary in meaning. In addition, many areas may dedicate certain spaces to residents or restrict certain uses. Road users are best advised to look for signs displaying time and dates of restrictions. This can sometimes be a pain, as it might mean having to backtrack and search around for information. If no signage is displayed, restrictions are taken to apply 24/7.

Bank Holidays

While some might assume restrictions don’t apply on bank holidays, no such blanket rule exists. Rather, local authorities set their own regulations to deal with public holidays. Some councils allow you to park on yellow lines or in residents’ bays, but others won’t. Anyone doing delivery work in unfamiliar areas should check details on the relevant local authority’s website.

Other Tips

While it can be tempting to make up for lack of space on the carriageway by going up on the pavement, drivers should be aware that this constitutes an offence. Having one or more wheels ‘on or over any part of the road other than the carriageway’ is proscribed by law. Signs will clearly display where footway parking is allowed, so unless you see an official sign saying otherwise, keep your wheels off the kerb!

Drivers should also take care to keep their wheels within 50cm of the kerb and to clearly display any relevant permits and tickets. Enforcement officers don’t like to look for them, and if they hit you with a charge you can have a hard time proving your permit was displayed.

For anyone doing delivery work that involves parking up for long periods of time, note any restrictions on return. Some areas also require vehicles to shift bays when restrictions change.

In almost all cases, you should avoid parking at lowered kerbs or close to hills, bends or junctions.

Finally, it’s important to remember that you can always appeal a fine if you genuinely feel it is unjustified. However, as noted above, this should never be relied upon as anything other than a last resort.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day delivery work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

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