Van driver runs up record £36,000 in unpaid parking fines before his vehicle is destroyed

TikTok user shouted at by man in parking row

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The unnamed driver left his van illegally parked around the Tower Hamlets area of London between March 2018 and August 2021, amassing a British record of £36,558 in fines, of which less than half have been recovered.

According to Tower Hamlets council officials, the van driver was a ‘persistent evader’.

The Labour-run council were forced to reveal the figures after the Tories made a Freedom of Information Act request.

And it revealed the council has a history of failing to act sooner when it comes to unpaid fines.

Conservative borough leader Peter Golds was furious the council hadn’t taken action while the driver racked up the fines over a three year period.

Mr Golds said: “The borough has an appalling record of traffic enforcement.

“Why is the council so poor at enforcing its own parking rules?”

Council officials said that they had tracked the driver down and managed to recover £14,500 of the money owed, while issuing warrants in an attempt to receive the rest.

The van was then finally recovered in September of this year and destroyed.

The fines owing are £5,000 more than the average yearly salary in the UK.

“This is another example where Labour Tower Hamlets Council has allowed a dishonest vehicle owner to flagrantly ignore parking restrictions,” continued Mr Golds.

“The sum of money owed is quite extraordinary.

“This is possibly the highest amount of money owed by a single vehicle nationwide.”

But it isn’t the first time the borough has allowed parking fines to add up.

Between July 2017 and June 2019, a VW Transporter van owner collected an even higher number of PCNs at 246 – which added up to £32,000 in fines, however, none of that money was recovered.

A Tower Hamlets Council spokesperson said: “Vehicles parking illegally is a common problem across the country and our enforcement officers work hard to ensure roads in the borough are free from obstruction.

“As a council we work with partners like London Councils and the British Parking Association (BPA) to lobby the Government for stronger powers to enforce against such vehicles.”

While Tower Hamlets actually issues relatively few parking tickets per year when compared to the likes of record-breaking Islington, UK councils in general banked £1.76billion from car park charges and fines last year.

Once operating costs are removed that leaves almost £900million in profit for the tax year.

Drivers hit with PCNs are supposed to have 28 days to pay a fine – which is usually halved if paid within 14 days.

Failure to pay beyond that may result in bailiffs removing the vehicle.

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