'Van-sitters' employed to avoid London parking chargesPA

A London property maintenance firm has taken to employing young people with a clean licence to 'van-sit' their fleet of commercial vehicles as it makes more financial sense than parking in central London.

Will Davies, the boss of Aspect.co.uk, has been paying on average £8 per hour for young unemployed people to remain double parked in the firm's fleet of vehicles until a traffic warden approaches, then they simply drive away.

The scheme is designed to beat parking fines of up to £120 in London, as well as clamping fines and car pound release fees.

Mr Davies maintains that the scheme is within the law, as young car-sitters look after company vehicles while Aspect's maintenance teams go into premises to carry out work.

He explained: "No one likes to pay fines. It's crippling and unfair in a lot of cases. But the money paid out in fines can go to excellent use paying for young people to have meaningful employment. Everyone wins."

The firm has approached Traffic Enforcement offices for Transport for London and the City of Westminster to ensure the scheme is always working within the law.

Mr Davies plans to extend the service to the public, if it proves successful. He added: "It's completely legal and trials in Westminster have been incredibly successful.

"In fact, we are thinking of rolling out the scheme to include anyone who needs a car-sitter while they attend a meeting."