British councils owed millions in foreign parking fines

Millions of pounds worth of unpaid parking fines have to be written off each year by councils unable to trace drivers of foreign vehicles, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

Some councils have had to rip up thousands of tickets, with one local authority- Brighton & Hove- being owed more than £75,000.

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How much councils have lost in unpaid parking fines?

The Local Government Association claims local councils have been forced to write off millions in unpaid parking fines as they have been unable to trace foreign vehicles.

The LGA wants the government to get tougher on foreign drivers who are often not registered in the UK. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

LGA economy and transport board chairman Peter Box wants a central database introduced to allow the Government to get tougher on people failing to register their vehicle.

He said: "Drivers of foreign-registered vehicles need to realise they are not above the law in this country.

"Reckless and inconsiderate parking by non-UK registered vehicles puts other drivers and pedestrians at risk.

"The millions of pounds worth of fines written off could also be spent filling potholes, providing bus services and tackling the £12 billion repair backlog to bring our roads up to scratch."

See how different parts of the UK measure up:

  • Brighton & Hove is owed more than £750,000 in unpaid fines
  • Oxfordshire, Southampton and Portsmouth councils are owed £500,000
  • Bournemouth council has written off £57,000 in the past 12 months
  • Maidstone Council in Kent has lost out on £28,455 worth of tickets
  • Leicester City Council has waived £20,000 in fines in the past year
  • Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire is still owed £13,365
  • While Doncaster Council in Yorkshire has ripped up £12,000 worth

Millions in foreign parking fines owed in Britain

Millions of pounds worth of unpaid parking fines have to be written off each year by councils unable to trace drivers of foreign vehicles, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

The LGA said it is unfair as Britons can be chased for parking fines abroad but not vice versa. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Some councils have had to rip up thousands of parking tickets with one local authority - Brighton & Hove Council - being owed more than £750,000.

EU laws allows European vehicles to drive on UK roads for six months before having to register with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) but the Government does not keep a record of the estimated three million entering the UK each year.

Currently the DVLA only records information about non-UK-registered vehicles when they are notified through offence reports provided by the police or from tip-offs from the public.

This means foreign vehicles are able to disappear within the system by going unregistered.

The LGA said this left town hall parking bosses facing an impossible task to chase down drivers for payments while laws in other countries mean British drivers parking illegally abroad can be tracked and chased.

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