DRIVERS who flout parking laws and dodge fines could have their cars seized under new council powers.
Ealing is one of seven London boroughs whose parking services departments hope to participate in a pilot scheme giving them the power to tackle persistent parking and traffic evaders.
If the move is approved, any cars that have three of more parking tickets which are past the stage of appeal could be immobilised, removed and impounded, with drivers forced to cough up £200 removal fees and £40 per day storage fees. These powers could be in place by January 4 and the pilot would last six months.
Dave Gunner, of Ticket Fighter, an online motorists' guide to appealing against parking, bus lane, yellow box junction and moving traffic tickets, said Ealing Council should do more to gain drivers' confidence rather than taking on more powers.
Mr Gunner said: "Currently for unpaid fines the council can apply for a warrant from Northampton County Court, which will result in bailiff action and the owner's vehicle being clamped or removed.
"However, unregistered vehicles can, of course, evade this system so the new proposals will be able to target these people, which in principle, I do support.
"However, through their invalid parking bays and yellow boxes, Ealing have proved that they do not have the public's confidence to operate a decriminalised enforcement system fairly and legally.
"I would suggest Ealing put their house in order by repaying all previous invalid fines and undertaking an independent audit of their systems, markings and signage before they start taking on even more powers."
In a report to be considered by cabinet on Tuesday, it is recommended that councillors authorise Ealing Council's participation in the scheme to 'ensure a consistent and fair enforcement approach by the borough in ensuring compliance with parking and traffic regulations, targeting motorists who evade the payment of monies rightfully due to the authority'.
The council would also be given powers to issue bonds to be paid by car drivers. This is similar to a scheme carried out by the DVLA.