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Drivers from abroad rack up £1m in unpaid council parking fines

Drivers from outside the UK have racked up over £1m in parking fines over the past year in Westminster, the city council has today revealed.

French drivers were by far the worst offenders, clocking in £356,000 in fines last financial year, with people from Qatar coming in second at £191,105. Motorists from France also look set to top the table once again in 2017-18 as they already owe £111,570 in Westminster.

Another country in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, was ranked third, owing £116,030 in unpaid fines, with other offenders from this part of the world including Saudi Arabia – who came in eighth with £64,065 – and Kuwait at ninth, with £55,530 worth of fines.

Westminster Council said that more Middle Eastern countries have appeared in the top 10 than ever before, knocking countries like Switzerland, USA, Italy and Luxembourg off the worst offenders list from last year.

The other countries on the list were all from Europe. Romania claimed the fourth spot with £114,235 and Germany was up at fifth – on £103,375.

Surprisingly, the council revealed that in previous years, car owners from Russia had accumulated over £10,000 in just one parking spot after leaving their vehicle unattended for weeks on end.

Westminster has called on the government to establish a system of international co-operation to allow local authorities to trace foreign motorists to make them pay up.

A process to obtain a judgement in the UK against foreign persistent evaders is also being trialled which has the potential to transfer proceedings abroad.

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

Top Image: IPGGutenbergUKLtd

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