Drivers of vehicles registered abroad owe Scotland’s largest local authority more than £130,000 in unpaid parking fines, it has been revealed.
Glasgow City Council revealed the money still outstanding for penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued to foreign-registered vehicles for the last three years was £21,180 for 2007/08, £25,200 for 2008/09 and £92,340 for 2009/10 - making a total of £138,720.
Edinburgh City Council’s parking operations department said £211,051 in parking tickets issued to foreign-registered vehicles were written off in 2009-10 after drivers could not be traced and tickets were not paid.
During the same period £47,916.50 in parking tickets issued to foreign-registered vehicles were paid, the council said.
Four councils were contacted by the Press Association and asked how much was outstanding in unpaid parking fines on vehicles registered abroad.
A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “Like any other authority, when a penalty notice is not paid, our main method of tracing the registered keeper of the vehicle is through the DVLA database.
“Clearly, though, the DVLA does not hold information on vehicles registered overseas, so that option is not available to us in these cases.
“We will, however, still pursue outstanding penalties through different channels wherever we can.
“For example, if we become aware of an overseas-registered vehicle with outstanding penalty notices against it, we may impound the vehicle as a means of obtaining the details we need to recover the money.
“As such, this figure is not final - we will continue to pursue recovery wherever we can.”
In 2009/10, Dundee City Council said it had 187 outstanding notices for foreign-registered vehicles racking up around £11,000.
Bill Blakemore, director of the SPARKS Network, an association of public authorities that campaigns for more effective cross-border traffic enforcement, said: “Local authorities in many parts of the country, particularly those close to major ports, or with a high number of tourist visitors or foreign students, find that vehicles with foreign number plates cause them problems with parking.
“Parking tickets go unpaid, leaving a local authority out of pocket to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds, because it is impossible in most cases to trace the foreign vehicle owner.
“Continental European governments have done much better than us, by sharing data between themselves about vehicle ownership. Up to now the Department for Transport and DVLA have not seen the foreign vehicle problem as a priority to fix.
“But the UK may be forced to change its position if a new EU proposal on cross-border vehicle data-sharing becomes law.”