Sources say that more than 2,000 fines have been issued to lorry drivers for not having the right paperwork to enter Kent at the end of the Brexit transition period. Kent Access Permits were obligatory for EU-bound heavy goods vehicles entering Kent from 1 January until 19 April. The Department of Transport (DfT) said the permit was part of its plans to combat disruption at ports.
The DfT told the BBC there had been 2,174 offences, each carrying a £300 penalty; 2,129 had been marked as paid and more than £638,000 of fines had been collected. The DfT said the permit had been a "sensible" part of its plans and "helped ensure that hauliers who had the correct customs documentation could verify this and move smoothly through our trading ports."
It said the permit was designed to prevent HGVs that were unready for the border from setting off and was "instrumental in avoiding delays."
The scheme was scrapped in April, with the DfT saying it was no longer needed "thanks to hauliers arriving prepared" and due to freight volumes operating at "normal" levels. Rob Hollyman, director of Youngs Transportation and Logistics, called it ‘outrageous and unnecessary’.
Hollyman also told bbc.com it was "absolutely scandalous it was introduced in the first place" and "simply a way of generating money for Kent."
He said the purpose given at the time was to reduce congestion in Kent but "it didn't reduce the number of trucks, it was outrageous and unnecessary and just ripping off lorry drivers."