This is just too astonishing to be true, so we’ll get right to the point.
According to the BBC, a single white van in the city of Westminster has accumulated a quarter of a million parking tickets, all of which remain unpaid.
A quarter of a million! Surely some mistake?** Given that the white Nissan van is an R-reg, it would have been rolling around for about nine years. We do the maths, so you don’t have to, and that works out as 76 parking offences every single day since 1997. So unless the owner is a Mr S Claus, we suggest the figure should actually be 250 rather than 250,000.
The anomalous result heads up a list of Westminster’s worst parking offenders, all of whom have been named (by reg number) and shamed for not paying their fines.
It’s not all white-van man, though. Several problem parkers have wheels that suggest affluence, with a Mercedes E class and a Porsche 911 clocking up 268 unpaid tickets between them. Beyond the top 10, an additional 3000 cars with three or more unpaid offences have been put into Westminster’s naughty book. All will be clamped at the first sign of a further transgression.
‘No one wants to get a parking ticket’, says councillor Danny Chalkley,
…but when they do the vast majority of motorists pay up or challenge the PCN in the normal way. However there is a hard core who simply toss the ticket on the back seat and ignore it. They seem to feel that the rules which apply to the rest of us do not apply to them.
To get their cars released, the errant motorists will have to pay all outstanding debts. That means our friend with the 250,000 penalties owes approximately £25 million. Oh dear. He or she will need to accumulate a similar number of winning lottery tickets to oblige.
**Addendum: The BBC has now altered its story. The number of parking offences was indeed 250, and not 250,000 as first reported. The plonkers.