The number of parking tickets handed to British drivers soared by more than one million in just 12 months, new figures show.
A RAC Foundation spokesperson has described the system as “failing”, after it was revealed that more than 6.8 million vehicle keeper records were requested by parking management firms in 2018-19.
Philip Gomm, whose company analysed the data, asked talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “Are these huge numbers a sign of a system working or a system failing?
“We would say that it is a sign that something is going wrong, not ‘great, we have caught a bunch of people’.”
The current system allows parking companies to obtain records from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to chase car owners for alleged infringements in private car parks such as at shopping centres, leisure facilities and motorway service areas.
Each resultant penalty charge can cost drivers up to £100.
Mr Gomm suggested the £100 fine was “disproportionate”.
“We have never said that there should be a parking-free-for-all – you do need rules and restrictions – but for us to be talking about parking when there is so much else going on, it really shows how things have been skewed,” he added.
“Most people don’t set out to do the wrong thing because nobody wants to get a £100 fine.”
The number of parking tickets is the highest total on record and represents a 20 per cent increase year-on-year.
Since 2006 when the records began, more than 33 million vehicle keeper records have been obtained by parking firms, with more than half of these being in the past three years.