The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Another parking scandal anomaly


THROUGHOUT THE years of austerity which followed the financial crash, the public has been repeatedly told every possible saving has been made where wastage is leaking from the public purse.

Householde­rs are told they should do the same to insulate themselves from the financial pressures which continue to squeeze their budgets.

It is galling then to learn of the cost to a public body like DVLA for handling inquiries to its database from private parking companies.

Because of a quirk bordering on the ridiculous, the agency charges only £2.50 for a request about a registered keeper of a vehicle — a process which costs them £2.84 to handle.

Some parking firms can only chase drivers for charges incurred with the co-operation of the DVLA.

Private parking charges are loathed by many motorists who claim the fees are extortiona­tely high and the tactics of recovery services unnecessar­ily ruthless.

To discover they are paying again — albeit indirectly — to actually help the parking firms track them down will surely only serve to rub salt in raw wounds.

The Courier recently investigat­ed the issue of private parking and received strong legal opinion that the charges handed out by the thousand are effectivel­y unenforcea­ble.

Politician­s were quick to call for a review of private parking operations and a strengthen­ing of legislatio­n if it is necessary to curb business excesses.

The DVLAis beginning a public consultati­on into its fees for database checks not a moment too soon.

The massive number of people who contacted us to express concern about the private parking charges issue is evidence enough that this should be pushed up the agenda.

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