BROMLEY Council has come under fire following claims of alleged parking enforcement malpractice.
The authority, which last year made millions in revenue through motorists, was one of the London boroughs said to be setting targets for fines, with one lawyer describing the set up as “arguably illegal”.
A BBC investigation reported it has seen a contract between Bromley Council and parking company VINCI Park that appears to encourage ticketing through financial reward.
Stautory guidance was added to the Traffic Management Act in 2008 that states performance should not be a measured by the number of penalty charges issued, but Bromley Council is said to pay VINCI £20 per Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) once a baseline of 72,000 is hit.
Colin Smith, Executive Councillor for Environment, said he was “appalled by the subjective poor quality of the programme” and Bromley Council said it “has never set targets for revenue from parking enforcement income”.
A response posted online added: “The purpose of specifying a number of penalty charge notices is to monitor the work of our contractor, and it is only one of a number of indicators used to measure performance.”
The council also said its contract began before guidance was drawn up. It said: “The council’s parking enforcement contract commenced in 2006, predating the Statutory Guidance by two years,” adding its lawyers are “content with the integrity of the contract”.
A VINCI Park spokesperson said in response to the claims: “Our contract for parking services in Bromley was drawn up by the council in accordance with its code of practice and the recommendations of its lawyers.
“As a contractor working for the Council we fulfil the terms of its contract.”
“We work closely with our colleagues at Bromley Council to ensure we provide the best possible parking services for the area, as part of a combined strategy.”