Parking tickets rise to record levels as private firms hand out 30,000 every day

Parking tickets rise to record levels as private firms hand out 30,000 every day

Private parking companies have handed out 50 per cent more tickets than last year.

British motorists are now issued an average of almost 30,000 tickets every day, analysis of data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has found.

The number of fines issued rose from 1.8 million between April and June last year to a record 2.7 million in the same period this year, after a major government crackdown to clamp down on “cowboy private parking firms” was withdrawn.

Motoring research charity the RAC Foundation claimed it is “unbelievable” that so many drivers are deliberately breaking parking rules.

The private parking companies have now been accused of “lock-in” by using misleading and confusing signage, aggressive collection and unreasonable fees.

Director of the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding, said the increase in tickets could be attributed to the “booming” private parking management sector, adding that it is “big business attracting more entrants all the time”.

“Significant profit”

He said: “The traction can only be one thing – the chance to make significant profits before the government brings in changes, which now appear overdue, to level the playing field.”

The firms operate on private land such as supermarkets, shopping centres, leisure facilities, NHS Trusts and motorway services. Each ticket can cost drivers up to £100.

Mr Gooding added: “It’s still unthinkable that millions of motorists annually are setting themselves up to run up these tickets of up to £100 each, especially when household budgets are so tight. This latest data is a sign of a system that is broken. . “

Brian Gregory, the director of policy at the lobby group Alliance of British Drivers, told The Telegraph: “The motorist is the main target because virtually all offenses are in practice a victimless crime.

“The only victim is the person who committed it because the signage confuses them into a situation where they usually inadvertently break the rules.

“The more confusing, the more imprecise, the more poorly designated and displayed you can make these traffic signs, the easier it is to catch people.”

‘Regime loaded against road users’

While the sharpest drop in tickets was seen in 2020 due to the pandemic, where a total of 0.5 million were given out, the record number given out this year is attributed to “revenue growth”.

Mr Gregory added: “The figures speak for themselves … They are interested in raising revenue, it is symptomatic of a regime that is really charged with making life a misery for road users and making as much money out of them as possible.”

The record number of tickets comes as the government’s long-awaited recommendation – aimed at stamping out some of the worst practices in the private parking sector to protect drivers – was withdrawn following legal action by parking firms.

The guidelines, due to come into effect across the UK by the end of next year, saw the cap on tickets for some parking offenses cut in half to £50.

“Unacceptable Practice”

The withdrawal pending a review of the allegations may lead to a further delay in implementation.

The scale of parking fines this year was revealed in figures showing the number of times private parking companies are obtaining records from the DVLA to chase car owners for alleged offences.

The DVLA charges private firms £2.50 per post but insists it makes no money from the process and only covers the costs.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities said: “We recognize that there have been unacceptable practices by a small number of cowboy companies.

“We will be introducing our private parking policy as soon as possible to help tackle this problem and protect motorists.”

Some 176 parking management companies requested vehicle owner registrations between April and June, up from 151 in the previous 12 months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *