Since Jan 1st 2017 to 31st July 2019, Folkestone & Hythe District Council have issued 4,905 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to HGV’s parked in contravention of the ban implemented by the Council in Nov 2015, across our district.
The collective amount owed for these 4,905 PCN’s is £280,076. However, the Council have failed to collect 67% or £187,763 of the outstanding amounts owed on these PCN’s, across the time frame stated above. To put this into a more understandable format, this outstanding amount could pay for ten leisure attendants at Hythe Swiming pool for one year, or one attendant for ten years.
From Jan 1st 2019 to July 31st 2019 the outstanding amount for HGV PCN’s owed to the Council is £57,120. This is equivalent to 73% of the total amount outstanding/not paid.
The Folkestone & Hythe District Council Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Special Projects is Cllr David Godfrey (pictured). What is he doing to resolve this ongoing issue, if anything at all, as the problem of outstanding amounts remains stubbornly high?
It is clear that the threat of a PCN is not sufficient deterrence to many drivers. The costs of a stay overnight in a ‘truck stop‘ are not dissimilar from the charge that they may incur on-street. The level of the penalty charge is set by central government; the Council cannot deviate from this.
Folkestone & Hythe District Council work with enforcement agents to help ensure that charges are recovered, both here and abroad. They pursue Penalty Charge Notices where they can. Most countries within the EU, for example, will share registered keeper details; some do not. Whether this non-co-operation will get worse or better after Brexit, we’ll have to wait and see.
The issue around HGVs has been discussed often in the Council Chamber. A number of our communities have been blighted over the years by the numbers of HGVs parking on the highway across our district. The numbers have steadily increased, as have the outstanding amounts for PCNs from £48,545 in 2017 (whole year), to £57,120 for Jan – July 2019 alone.
The problem is in part caused by the fact that for 24 hours at the weekend HGVs are unable to travel though France. Most heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes are banned from French roads and motorway network every weekend between the hours of 10 pm Saturday and 10 p.m Sunday. So those using France for their onward journey are trapped here on This Sceptred Isle
Whether the situation will get worse or better after Brexit is simply not known. All we can say is the outstanding amounts for unpaid HGV PCNs could add 10 Council jobs to the District Economy. We wonder what the Cabinet Member for the District Economy, David Wimble, (pictured) has got to say about that to his fellow Cabinet Member for Transport, Cllr David Godfrey.
The Shepwayvox Team
Dissent is NOT a Crime