Massive surge in private parking fines

A traffic warden stands beside a car in central London which has been ticketed as part of a new T-Mobile advert where the brand has handed out thousands of pounds in £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes inside imitation parking fines on cars in and around the Capital. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 13, 2011. T-Mobile secretly filmed the reactions from unsuspecting members of the public for a new TV advert which launches on Friday night 9.15pm on Channel 5. Photo credit should read: Geoff Caddick/PA

The number of people hit by huge parking fines, issued by private companies in the last year, has increased by over one million.

Figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), suggest that a staggering 4.7 million motorist's vehicle details have been released to parking companies across the UK since 2016. That's an increase of 28 per cent.

On average in the UK someone is handed a parking ticket every seven seconds. In an hour that totals over 514 tickets.

The vehicles details are released by the DVLA in order for parking companies to pursue drivers for unpaid parking fines or other penalties.

For this information, companies are charged a standard £2.50 rate. This means the DVLA made around £12 million last year.

Despite private clamping being banned in all but exceptional cases back in 2012, many motorists are still facing extortionate fines of up to £100 in some cases.

The private parking business seems to be booming. Back in 2013 The Telegraph reports that private parking firms had generated more than £150 million and were estimated to have an annual fine income of a staggering £330 million, accrued by town halls in just one year alone.

Many private parking companies are employed to issue parking fines by the government and local councils throughout the UK, with no capped charge.

In 2015 however, the Government launched a public consultation called "Parking reform: tackling unfair practices". This examined the issue of excessive penalties and signs not being clear enough.

Experts are calling on the Government to take action. The RAC's foundation director Steve Gooding said: "We all hoped the problems associated with parking on private land would go away when clamping was outlawed. It turns out we hoped in vain. Since the ban there has been a surge in ticketing.

"The number of vehicle-keeper requests that private parking companies make on behalf of their landowner clients is a barometer for how well the private parking system is working, and we believe that the barometer is reading 'stormy weather' for ministers who have had the responses to the 2015 public consultation on their desks for two years now."

By Aidan Rennie-Jones

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