Abandoned cars to be cleared within 72 hours

Ealing Council trial new scheme this month

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Ealing Council have made a commitment to clear streets of abandoned and untaxed vehicles within 72 hours of them being reported. A new scheme called operation Scrap-It is being trialled by the Council this month.

The implementation of Operation Scrap-It, a London-wide campaign to remove nuisance vehicles from London�s roads, will be strengthened in Ealing by the council�s adoption of powers from DVLA to remove all untaxed vehicles from our streets. Until now the council only had powers to remove untaxed vehicles that appeared to be abandoned, but from September 1st, all untaxed vehicles parked on the public highway will be at risk of removal.

Under Operation Scrap-It, the council is aiming to reduce the time it takes to remove abandoned and untaxed cars to 72 hours from the current average of 5 days. It will also bring prosecutions against people who abandon their cars - an illegal activity that blights the environment and encourages crime. Abandoned cars will continue to be removed for destruction, and any cars that are untaxed but not abandoned will be taken to the council�s new car pound near Hanger Lane.

Car-owners will be charged £80 to reclaim their car if it is claimed within the first 24 hours. This fee rises to £160 after 24 hours plus a £15 per day storage fee. If the car is not claimed within fourteen days the council can seek authorisation from DVLA to dispose of the vehicle.

Councillor John Delaney, Cabinet Member for Streets and the Environment, has been championing the scheme, �The implementation of Operation Scrap-It is one of my key priorities this year, as I believe the removal of abandoned vehicles has clear benefits for all our residents. No-one likes to see unwanted and often unsightly vehicles cluttering up our streets. They can encourage anti-social behaviour such as vandalism, and increase residents� fear of crime in the areas where they are left. The faster they are removed, the better it is for everyone."

Residents can also help to keep the roads clear of abandoned vehicles by calling the council's hotline to report abandoned vehicles or make use of the council's free �take back� service on 020 8825 6010 whereby residents can request that their unwanted cars are removed.

Operation Scrap-It is funded by the Home Office and co-ordinated across London by the Association of London Government. The funding is being used to pay for the additional costs of removing all untaxed vehicles as well as paying for additional staff who will be employed by Ealing Council to achieve the 72-hour target. The collection and storage fees from the car pound will also be used to fund Operation Scrap-It.

September 12, 2004