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Parking fines can be dodged for foreign-registered cars, says Paul Pearson in Dover

By Sam Lennon

Foreign-registered cars have been left cluttering streets, parked irresponsibly and in some cases, illegally.

Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch member Paul Pearson has counted 26 on one stretch of road in Dover.

Some are on yellow lines and others even show unopened parking tickets, suggesting they may not have been paid.

A Czech Republic-registered car on double yellow lines, Dover High Street

Now he fears the offenders will get away with not paying because non-British registrations make it harder to track drivers down.

Mr Pearson, of Branch Street, Dover, said: “Who owns these cars? Are they insured? Have they got an MOT? What about road tax?

“What happens when one of these cars runs into another car, or into a bus queue?

“The driver runs off leaving the damage and devastation behind, never to be seen again.”

Mr Pearson says that there has been an increasing number of these cars in the town and believes the owners are residents rather than tourists, become some of them have been in the area for more than six months.

This would make them legally obliged to register their vehicles in the UK.

On one evening last week, w/c 20 NovMr Pearson counted 26 of these cars on the High Street and London Road.

Some are registered in the Czech Republic.

An Opel Astra photographed on a double yellow line in the High Street, by the Charlton Shopping Centre, was left pushing a kerbstone out of place.

Paul Pearson - says drivers of foreign-registered cars can more easily avoid parking fines

Mr Pearson claimed: “It’s not unusual to see any number of parking tickets lying inside these vehicles.

“The parking authorities are unable to do any more than issue parking tickets that they cannot collect fines due to these cars being unregistered in the UK.”

Mr Pearson’s wife Augusta, a fellow Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Watch member, said: “Parking tickets appear to be unopened and one car has more than 15.”

She believes any drivers that persistently flout the law like this should have their cars clamped, and if necessary towed away or crushed.

The Pearsons have provided photographs of some of the foreign cars but on this week our photographer also saw British-registered cars on double yellow lines too.

Dover High Street. Cars on double yellow lines,can even damage kerbstones

Tower Hamlets ward district councillor Pam Brivio said: “I am not sure what the answer is.
“The issue has been raised with parking services but I understand because cars are foreign-registered their powers are limited.”

Cllr Brivio said that she would be contacting the DVLA with details of two cars that are constantly parked in front of the Charlton Shopping Centre and receive parking tickets.

Fellow ward member Ben Glayzer said that residents have also told him about illegally parked and abandoned vehicles.

He explains that district council enforcement officers ticket parking offenders, such as those leaving their vehicles on double yellow lines. Abandoned vehicles, including those thought to be without tax, MOT and feared unsafe, are reported to the DVLA.

Cars without insurance are dealt with by traffic police, he said.

Cllr Glayzer added: "I have since been aware that although foreign plated vehicles have been ticketed, it's receiving the payments which has been tricky in some circumstances.

"I'd urge all members of the public and councillors alike to report these traffic offences the moment they are witnessed.

"Clamping of vehicles have been seen in the ward and district. This has arisen from failure to present payment to fines and has resorted to the vehicle being taken away.

"It is by all accounts a growing issue and one that needs solving."

Parked vehicles in London Road, Dover. Can some drivers avoid paying fines?

A Dover District Council spokesman said: “We continue to work hard to enforce parking regulations across the district, and where a contravention is witnessed, we will issue a penalty charge notice as appropriate.
“We use a company of bailiffs to follow up on payments of unpaid PCNs (penalty charge notice) issued to foreign-registered vehicles.”

Insp Stuart Norris, from Dover Community Safety Unit: "Parking is a matter for the local councils to enforce.

"Unless a vehicle is causing a serious and immediate danger to public safety, in which case we ask people to report it to police on 101 so appropriate action can be taken.’

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