Foreign drivers rack up more than £1m in parking fines in Westminster

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Foreign drivers owe Westminster City Council more than a million pounds in parking fines – with the France, Qatar, the UAE and Romania among the worst offenders.

The council released its annual “top ten” figures which reveal the most prolific parking offenders from across the globe in 2016/17.

French motorists are by far the most common parking offenders, being fined a total of £356,000.

Qatar (£191,105) and the United Arab Emirates (£116,030) are in second and third place respectively. 

The south-eastern European country of Romania has climbed up Westminster’s most-ticketed board to claim fourth place with nationals owing the council £114,235. 

Meanwhile, its neighbours in Bulgaria claimed seventh place in the table, after accruing £77,585 in fines.

Germany made it to fifth place, with a total of £103,375 in fines while Belgium follows in sixth place (£84,160).

Saudi Arabia has made the top ten for the first time pulling up in eighth place, with fines totalling £64,065.

The small Gulf state of Kuwait follows in ninth place (£55,530) and Ireland comes in at number ten with its nationals fined a total of £54,820.

France looks set to top the table again next year as – to date – French cars have been fined £111,570 in Westminster already this year.

Switzerland, USA, Italy and Luxembourg have all featured in the top ten in previous years but the most recent figures saw more Middle Eastern countries in the top ten than ever before.

In previous years individuals from Russia have racked up more than £10,000 after parking in the same spot for weeks on end.

Westminster City Council works with embassies and organisations abroad to try and make drivers pay up.

The council is currently in the early stages of trialling a process of obtaining a judgment in the UK against foreign persistent evaders, with the potential to transfer proceedings abroad.

It can be difficult to contact vehicle owners abroad so Westminster City Council is calling on the Government to help establish a system of international co-operation to allow local authorities to trace foreign motorists.

 

Cllr Danny Chalkley, Cabinet Member for City Highways, said: “We gladly welcome visitors from abroad who wish to visit our iconic roads and landmarks.

“However, drivers who park irresponsibly are a nuisance for our residents and visitors alike. This should be a reminder that a foreign number plate does not give you immunity from the law.

“We are committed to ensuring those who break the rules are forced to pay up.”

2016/2017 
  
CountryTotal fine value of received cases
France£356,000.00
Qatar£191,105.00
United Arab Emirates£116,030.00
Romania£114,235.00
Germany£103,375.00
Belgium£84,160.00
Bulgaria£77,585.00
Saudi Arabia£64,065.00
Kuwait£55,530.00
Ireland£54,820.00

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