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The government is proposing to give local authorities powers to deal more ...
The government is proposing to give local authorities powers to deal more

swiftly with abandoned vehicles, transport secretary Stephen Byers told BBC

Radio Four's Today programme this morning.

Today reported from Lewisham LBC, which has seen a 1,000% increase in dumped

cars on its streets. Daniel Fish, from the council, said Lewisham had

removed 6,000 vehicles this year, compared with 450 in 1998. The main reason

for the increase, Mr Fish said, is the fall in the price of scrap metal, so

that people now have to pay to scrap their cars away.

Ian Fowkes, head of public protection at the Local Government Association,

told Today that, on average, local authorities had experienced a 500%

increase in abandoned vehicles in the past three years. The problem affects

rural as well as urban areas, he said, with cars and even caravans dumped in


Mr Fowkes said the European end of life vehicles directive would be coming

in soon. The LGA expects that in the short term this will result in an

increase in abandoned cars.

Mr Byers told the programme that to tackle the problem, 'in the short term

we need to provide powers to get these cars off our streets'. He proposes to

cut the period for which local authorities have to wait before disposing of

a worthless vehicle, from 35 days to 24 hours.

Local authorities would have to bear the costs of removing more vehicles,

but there would be savings for them because they would not have to keep the

cars for so long, he said.

The DTLR's proposals for giving local authorities powers to deal with abandoned cars are available here.

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