£140,000 lost as migrants in Portsmouth dodge parking fines

Migrant workers have dodged parking fines in Portsmouth
Migrant workers have dodged parking fines in Portsmouth
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Foreign drivers have dodged parking fines totalling £140,000 in Portsmouth.

Overseas drivers and migrant workers have been ignoring fines issued for parking on double yellow lines or overstaying waiting times.

Unless drivers are caught in the act and fined on the spot it is difficult to track them down because foreign registered vehicles do not have to be registered in the UK with the DVLA.

The council has now employed Euro Parking Collection to try to track down those responsible.

Stuart Hendry, EPC’s legal manager, said the majority of those fines were accrued by migrant workers living in Portsmouth rather than people on holiday here.

Councillor Jason Fazackarley, who is in charge of traffic and transportation at the council, said: ‘I believe we are the only local authority in the area, other than Weymouth, that’s actually taken steps to trace foreign drivers.

‘The situation we have is vehicles not registered in this country come and breach parking rules even though foreign vehicles are subject to the same regulations here as everyone else.

‘The problem is that many are only here for a short period of time and then disappear back to their home country and they are difficult to trace.

‘But we now have an arrangement with a company which pursues them overseas’

The vehicles are traced through a European data base and sent a letter with the fine, warning them bailiffs will be sent in if they don’t pay up.

In the past year the firm has managed to get payback on 300 of 1,000 outstanding fines. The company gets around 30 per cent of the fine while Portsmouth City Council gets the rest.

Cllr Fazackarley added: ‘While parking is controversial and people grumble about paying fines people will be pretty annoyed if they think it applies to them and not others. The money is going back to the tax payers and into council coffers to spend on road improvements and parking improvements in the city.’

Nationally, in 2011, £4m worth of speeding fines accrued by foreign drivers were written off by police and local authorities.

The Portsmouth figures were revealed in a Freedom of Information request by the BBC.