Private parking firms are on course to issue nearly two million more tickets on private land in this financial year compared with last, a rise of more than a quarter.
Official information just published shows that in the first half of 2019-20 car parking management companies sought 4.32 million sets of vehicle keeper records from the DVLA.
These records enable private parking companies to issue ‘penalty’ tickets of up to £100 to drivers for alleged infringements of parking regulations on private land.
If the rate at which private parking firms access data from the DVLA remains at this level, then they are likely to issue 8.6 million tickets by the end of 2019-20.
This would be 26% more than the 6.8 million tickets issued in 2018-19.
The data suggests tickets are now being dished out at the rate of at least one every four seconds.
The news comes as progress on a government code of practice to rein in the excesses of parking firms is paused due to the calling of the general election.
In March this year Sir Greg Knight MP’s Parking (Code of Practice) bill became law.
At the time the then local government minister Rishi Sunak said the provisions of the act would be used to better manage “the largely unregulated industry” which he likened to the “Wild West”.
Last month Luke Hall, a current DCHLG minister, said government was still “considering the options for delivery of the Code”.
The DVLA data shows that 125 different private parking firms are now buying vehicle keeper records.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “It seems that alongside the fall of autumn leaves we now have to add another certainty to life – that year in, year out, the number of parking penalties being dished out to drivers on private land will rise.
“The volume of tickets being issued is now four and a half times what it was when clamping was outlawed back in 2012 and an astonishing 32 times more than it was in 2006 which is the first year for which the DVLA publishes data for.
“Whatever the outcome of the general election it must be a priority for our new government to get a grip, quickly, of this out of control juggernaut.”