Drivers hit with 30,400 fines every day with 11.1million handed out
Parking tickets from private firms up 29 per cent in a year: Motorists are hit with 30,400 fines every day with 11.1million handed out in 12 months to March, figures show
Motorists were last year hit with a record 30,400 parking tickets a day, new figures show.
The 29 per cent surge in fines compared to the year before comes despite ministers promising to crack down on ‘cowboy’ operators.
Shocking figures released today show that ruthless private companies issued a record 11.1million tickets last year (2022/23) – or on average 30,410 a day and 21 every minute.
It means parking firms issued demands for up to £1.1billion in fines.
And the figures apply only to car parks run by private firms, not councils.
Ministers today faced renewed calls to get tough on firms causing misery for millions of motorists amid the cost of living crisis.
Shocking figures released today show that ruthless private companies issued a record 11.1million tickets last year (file photo)
It comes after the Government withdrew key parts of a long-awaited code of practice aimed at protecting drivers from ‘cowboy’ operators.
Ministers caved in after parking firms threatened a judicial review of the proposals, which included slashing the maximum fines from £100 to £50.
However, it is believed officials may now have found a legally watertight way of bringing in the proposals and they could be in place by the end of the year. A second consultation on the plan closes next week.
The new regime would also include a ban on debt collectors hounding motorists who do not pay within a time limit.
Motorists have been waiting years for the new code of practice, details of which were first announced last February, amid complaints of bad practices such as deliberately poor signage.
A compulsory 10-minute grace period before firms can issue a fine to drivers whose tickets have expired would also be implemented, along with a simpler and fairer independent appeals process.
This would allow more drivers to be given the benefit of the doubt in cases involving honest mistakes, such as keying in the wrong number plate at a ticket machine.
An ‘appeals charter’ is also set to be established to spell out motorists’ rights more clearly.
It means parking firms issued demands for up to £1.1billion in fines (file photo)
However, while the new regime is not force parking firms are raking in bumper sums.
Today’s figures show the number of tickets issued soared 29 per cent, rising from 8.6 million the year before (2021/22).
It is also up from 8.4million in 2019/20, the last pre-Covid-19 pandemic year that is comparable due to car use plummeting during lockdown.
With fines capped at £100, it means private firms issued demands for up to £1.1billion worth of fines last year.
Analysis by the RAC Foundation also found that the number of parking firms has surged over two years, from 151 to 183.
The figures relate to how many times private firms paid to access Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data to issue fines to vehicle owners.
RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said: ‘The ballooning rate at which the volume of vehicle keeper requests continues to grow is a clear sign that something is seriously awry, creating distress for drivers and hassle for legitimate parking managers alike.
‘While some drivers will choose to flout the rules and risk being penalised, the vast majority are simply trying to do the right thing.
‘As the private parking minister recognised recently, most motorists do not choose to break the rules deliberately.
Today’s figures show the number of tickets issued soared 29 per cent, rising from 8.6 million the year before (file photo)
‘Amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis it is implausible that millions of drivers would knowingly want to risk running up a charge for as much as £100.
‘Of course, the Government needs to get the new private parking framework right after the false start it made last year, but surely that’s a task to be measured in weeks and months, not four-and-a-half years and counting.’ The long-awaited new code of practice has been due to be introduced ever since legislation paving the way for it was passed in Parliament in March 2019.
It was originally laid before Parliament in February 2022 but was withdrawn by the Government five months later following the legal challenge by parking companies.
The country’s biggest parking firm, ParkingEye, was the most active last year, buying 2.1million records from the DVLA. The DVLA charges private companies £2.50 per record.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which has drawn up the new code, was contacted for comment.
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