London

Westminster Council owed £18m in parking fines

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Image caption 'No-one likes a parking ticket' Westminster Council concedes

A London council is owed more than £18m in unpaid parking fines, a BBC Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Westminster Council in central London has had 180,000 unpaid parking tickets over the last three years.

Almost 85,000 warrants have been issued as the council tries to chase the offenders.

The council said it would take those who owe money to court if they refused to pay the fines.

The most common make of car to have an outstanding fine is Mercedes - with 17,023 unpaid tickets in the borough.

'Play fair'

That is followed by BMW, with 13,888 fines due.

It is thought that luxury cars are the most common with outstanding fines is because of the concentration of wealthy people and embassies in Westminster.

There are seven outstanding tickets to Venturi sports-cars - despite the fact there are only six of them registered to the UK.

Councillor Jonathan Glanz, Westminster City Council's deputy cabinet member for parking, said: "No-one likes getting a parking ticket - but most motorists play fair and either pay the fine or follow the appeals process.

"Yet a small number of drivers are generating a huge amount of unpaid tickets ignoring the rules everyone else has to live by.

"Persistent parking fine evaders need to be aware that we will work to recoup what is owed to the council taxpayer in unpaid fines by taking action through the courts."

Westminster Council makes more money from parking, including charges and fines, than any other London borough.

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