David Cameron's promised drive to cut the cost of government cars is being undermined by his ministers running up record levels of parking fines.
Penalties average more than £1,000 a month, despite the PM's edict that departments should switch to public transport as much as possible. In the first six months of the coalition, the bill came to almost £7,400 – more than double the cost in May to October last year.
A Freedom of Information Act request to the taxpayer-funded Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) revealed the total cost from January 2008 to October this year was £35,789.
A GCDA spokesman said "security risks" were the reason for some of the tickets. "Agency drivers are responsible for driving safely and face fines like anybody else if they break the rules."