£500,000 owed in parking fines by foreign drivers


£500,000 owed in parking fines by foreign drivers

Councils in the south of England are owed more than £500,000 in parking tickets issued to foreign registered vehicles since 2009.

A Freedom of Information request by the BBC highlighted that a total of £521,026 from 10,423 fines has been unpaid by owners of foreign vehicles in Oxfordshire, Southampton and Portsmouth.

Originally councils had written off such fines due to difficulties in tracking down drivers, but now the problem has become so bad that Portsmouth City Council has hired external contractors in a bid to recover the £143,666 it is owed.

Oxfordshire County Council is considering taking similar action to reclaim £358,290. Many parking wardens in the district are no longer issuing tickets to foreign cars due to the cost incurred by the taxpayer.

Speaking to the BBC, Michael Robinson, parking operations manager at Portsmouth City Council, said: "We felt it was unfair British people were having to pay and foreign-registered vehicles were getting away with it.

"It's frustrating for parking wardens when they see the same vehicle over and over again, parked in the same place."

Councils are also facing problems with persistent offenders, with one foreign registered car in Southampton clocking up 46 unpaid tickets in a single year.

Poor parking isn't the only motoring misdemeanor that foreign drivers appear to be getting away with. The BBC also discovered that 10,725 cars registered overseas were caught speeding by Thames Valley Police over the last four years, but none were issued tickets.