PARKING touts operating outside Ealing Broadway station could be driven out by Crossrail development plans, says a councillor.

The problem of picking up and setting down has plagued the station for years but could finally be resolved as the authorities gain control of parking.

Cllr Phil Taylor frequently hears from residents who have fallen victim to unexpected charges for stopping in ‘privately owned spaces’ outside the station.

He said: “The advent of Crossrail means that one greedy owner can't hold the whole town to ransom any more.”

Fines and charge notices can often be safely ignored, he says.

The problem has led to residents groups, blogs and forums being set up to help victims.

Residents should be aware of scams targeting drivers that are operating all over the borough.

The council this week warned of conmen using fake penalty charge notices to extract money from drivers.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport, said: “I am appalled at the lows scamsters will stoop to in order to rob people of their money.”

One man received a letter claiming he had been caught by CCTV using his mobile phone and, if he did not pay the £1000 fine, he would lose his licence.

The payment was requested via Paypal and the council have stressed it does not use this method. Residents are advised to contact the council if unsure.

The Crossrail scheme is set to be complete by 2018 and will connect 37 stations across West London and the South East.