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Record number of parking tickets on private land, says RAC Foundation

Drivers were issued with a record number of parking tickets on private land in the third quarter of 2017-18, according to Government data.

Analysis by the RAC Foundation shows that between October and December private parking companies received 1,576,593 vehicle keeper records from the DVLA.

The information is used by private parking companies to pursue vehicle owners for penalties of up to £100 for supposed-infringements of parking regulations on private land.

It suggests tickets are now being issued at the rate of 17,137 per day; the equivalent of 714 per hour or 12 per minute.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “In the run-up to Christmas we warned drivers that they should not expect much Christmas cheer from parking firms looking to maximise their profits from drivers out and about doing their festive shopping. Looking at the latest numbers it seems we were right.”

The Q3 figure is 10% more than the 1,429,703 records released to parking firms in the second quarter of 2017-18 and 26% more than the 1,252,494 records provided in Q3 2016-17.

The RAC Foundation predicts the DVLA will provide some 6 million vehicle keeper records to private parking firms in this financial year. This compares to the 4.71 million records released in the previous financial year, 2016-17.

The trend is revealed after the Government committed to back a private members’ bill which aims to tackle the worst excesses of the industry.

The Private Parking (Code of Practice) Bill has been introduced by Sir Greg Knight MP and is due to get its second reading in the House of Commons tomorrow (Friday, February 2.

Since clamping on private land was outlawed by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, there has been a huge rise in ticketing, says the RAC Foundation.

One of the consequences of the Act was to allow parking companies to pursue the registered vehicle keeper for supposed parking infringements on private land rather than having to identify the driver.

The company that requested and received the most data in Q3 2017-18 was ParkingEye with 533,251 records. This compares with 466,668 in Q2 2017-18 and 429,531 in Q3 2016-17.

Gooding said: “It is inconceivable that each year millions and millions of drivers are purposefully leaving themselves open to paying such huge sums of money. The fact that ticketing has reached such epidemic proportions demonstrates exactly why legislation is needed.

“We are delighted that ministers have decided to join Sir Greg Knight’s fight to protect motorists by picking up the responsibility for developing a single new code of practice that will ensure fair treatment for all involved.”

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