Dumped cars to be removed
ABANDONED cars, the scourge of the county's highways, will in future be removed from the roads of the Felixstowe and Woodbridge area within ten days.The get tough stance has been adopted by Suffolk Coastal Council, which has seen the number of dumped vehicles it has dealt with treble in three years.
By Richard Cornwell
ABANDONED cars, the scourge of the county's highways, will in future be removed from the roads of the Felixstowe and Woodbridge area within ten days.
The get tough stance has been adopted by Suffolk Coastal Council, which has seen the number of dumped vehicles it has dealt with treble in three years.
Last year the council had to serve notices and remove 500 vehicles from scarring streets in its district and says the problem shows every sign of increasing again over the next 12 months.
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Nearly nine out of every ten abandoned vehicles are suitable for destruction – with many of them charred wrecks after having been stripped by people hunting for parts and then torched by yobs.
Fire and police chiefs have warned that in built up areas dumped vehicles pose a big risk to life and property because of the potential to become vandals' targets.
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Now, instead of such cars waiting by the side of the road for up to eight weeks, they will vanish in just ten days.
Suffolk Coastal pledges that in its area – which includes Felixstowe, The Trimleys, Woodbridge, Martlesham, Kesgrave and Wickham Market, A12 and A14 – it will issue an official notice within three days of a car being reported.
This will give the owner, if it is on the road, a week to reclaim and take away the vehicle – if not, then the council will remove it.
There will be no need for the extensive search involving the police and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to trace the vehicle's owner.
"Abandoned cars have become a growing problems with many areas suffering far worse than in our district as it has become increasingly difficult to trace who is responsible for these vehicles," said Chris Slemmings, cabinet member for the environment.
"Although the government is looking at changing the legislation so councils can deal with it quicker, we feel we cannot wait any longer.
"The changes mean that a reported abandoned vehicle on a roadside will only be there ten working days.
"We need the help of local residents so we can get on with the task of removing these ugly and potentially dangerous eyesores and I hope people will call our special hot-line."
People can report abandoned cars 24 hours a day on the hot-line – 01394 444720 – and will soon be able report them on the council's website.
The council is hoping to announce soon how it will store those vehicles not ready to be scrapped, and is also trying to finalise a scheme where people could dispose of their unwanted vehicles without dumping them.