Positive steps to prevent fly-parking

A team is out on patrol. Up and out by 5am in their eco-friendly, electric cars, they have one mission –  to make sure Hinkley Point C workers use the dedicated park and ride facilities.

Fly-parking is not tolerated by Hinkley Point C and any worker flouting this vital part of their Code of Conduct could lose their site pass and, by default, their right to work on the project.

Working hand-in-hand with the local community, the fly-parking patrol is both proactive and reactive, following-up reports from local residents who believe Hinkley Point C workers may be parking their cars in side streets or lay-bys in the local area.

Employed by Somerset Passenger Solutions, the team of four, full-time fly-parking controllers carries out daily patrols to identify possible cases of fly-parking and investigate reports from residents.

The team patrols an area that covers between East Bridgwater and Williton, recording the location of the vehicles of potential offenders and taking photographic evidence to support the on-site warning process for repeat offenders.

Where a vehicle is proven to be fly-parking, the site adopts a ‘three strikes’ disciplinary process with escalation to higher levels of management at each stage. Ultimately this process can lead to the removal of an individual from the project. So far, four workers have been removed, but the system is working, as the team is receiving fewer reports.

If you suspect a vehicle has been fly-parked, get in touch with the Hinkley Point C enquiries team on 0333 009 7070.

Nick French, Fly-parking Controller, said: “Community engagement is at the heart of what we do. I enjoy talking to local residents and engaging with wide variety of people.

“Seeing us out and about gives residents confidence that we take the issue seriously and the positive comments we receive are a great motivation for me to keep our villages and towns free from fly-parking.”

His views were echoed by colleague Stuart Dennis, who added: “Stopping fly-parking keeps residents free from unnecessary worry and stress and they feel we are vigilant and are happy with what we do, which is very rewarding.”

The team investigates 1,000 vehicles per month on average and 90% of those turn out to be non-Hinkley Point C related. The remaining 10% are usually instances when Hinkley Point C workers are legitimately staying in lodgings situated on the given street.

Fly-parking controller Martin Gridley said knowing he was helping local people made the job particularly rewarding: “The positive feedback I have received from members of the public is very gratifying, from handshakes to offers of cups of tea, people are appreciative of what we are doing to support them.”

The newest member of the team, Daniel Ball, said it didn’t take long for him to realise the positive impact his work was having locally: “While on my travels I often talk to the residents and receive positive feedback on the monitoring we are doing within the community. I'm looking forward to the future within my role as the project progresses and adapting to whatever changes and challenges may come."