London (AFP) – Foreign motorists owe almost ??2.8 million ($4.5 million, 3.3 million euros) in unpaid parking fines in central London, a local authority said on Friday, with French drivers responsible for more than one third of the total.
The figures were released by Westminster City Council, which is responsible for roads and public services around Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Soho, Mayfair and the Oxford Street shopping artery.
French motorists top the list with ??1,026,995 worth of unpaid tickets since 2010, a figure likely explained by France's proximity to Britain and good transport links which make driving between the countries relatively easy.
In second place are drivers from Belgium, who owe ??272,980, followed by Spain on ??146,620, Germany on ??129,520 and Romania on ??126,360.
Motorists from the Netherlands (??125,360), Ireland (??92,230), Bulgaria (??89,420), Italy (??87,470) and the United Arab Emirates (??72,580) make up the top 10.
"We encourage people to use public transport into the centre of London wherever possible, but we have to accept that some motorists from abroad will want to drive into the city," said councillor Daniel Astaire.