SCOFFLAWS who serially evade parking fines now risk having their cars towed and impounded under a council crackdown.

The authority classes persistent evaders as motorists who have run up three or more unpaid penalty charge notices (PCNs) or where the vehicle keeper details are missing or out of date.

Government legislation, which the council is now taking advantage of, allows the authority to issue a further PSN and arrange for the car to be removed to a secure pound where the owner will have to pay a £105 removal fee and £12-day storage charge.

Transport councillor Tony Cox said the policy will eventually be extended to include cars driving dangerously or causing an obstruction.

He said: “Vehicles removal is a commonly used parking enforcement measure to combat illegal and dangerous parking.

“What this legislation allows us to do is remove vehicles that are consistently parked in contravention of restrictions and whose owners consistently ignore their subsequent penalty charge notices.

“To start with we will be targeting persistent offenders and those with three or more unpaid fines. However in the longer term, we will also be looking to use this legislation to remove vehicles parked dangerously or causing an obstruction.

“We will also be able to relocate vehicles where they are parked in a position which is preventing works or an event taking place, and a driver has ignored additional parking restrictions that have been put in place to accommodate this.”

The keeper will be required to prove ownership, as well pay the removal and storage fees to retrieve their vehicle, before their outstanding debts will be pursued.

Other authorities to make use of the legislation include Birmingham City Council, Manchester City Council, and London boroughs such as Brent, Hounslow, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Camden.