May 22 2013 Latest news:
Else Kvist, Reporter
Monday, March 11, 2013
The man behind a haulage company employing 40 people says Newham Council is putting his business at risk as lorries are fined outside his site.
Company director of EMT Logistics, Michael Mehmet, estimates he has lost £100,000 worth of business as lorry drivers from other companies became fed up after being fined while ringing the bell or waiting to get onto his industrial land along Alpine Way in Beckton.
Mr Mehmet says he has received around 30 parking fines at £60 each since 2011 for his own lorries. His fleet of 18 lorries, weighing up to 18 tonnes, deliver products to high street shops.
Mr Mehmet said: “The council claims parking restrictions were in place when we relocated here from Bow in 2002. But they did not put signs up until 10 years later without consulting us.
“I feel victimised because they placed signs at either end of our land and none in the rest of the road.
“I’m trying to get on with Newham Council and have invited officers to come down for a coffee to try and sort it out. But nobody has come. Yet they charge me £131,000 a year in business rates.
“The cost and time spent fighting fines is making it impossible for me to run a business here.”
At an independent appeals hearing the adjudicator sided with Mr Mehmet saying evidence had not been provided to show the council was authorised to put in place the restrictions.
A spokesman for Newham Council said they are aware of 17 parking fines against the company but insists some went to appeal because of a procedural error.
He said: “There is a daily ban between 6.30pm and 8am on lorries weighing more than five tons waiting in Alpine Way. The company are fully aware that there is lawful restriction on the street and if they continue to leave lorries unattended with no obvious sign of permitted activity they face having penalty charge notices issued to their vehicles. We are more than happy to meet with representatives of the company to go through the restrictions as they exist at present.”