HC Deb 24 January 2001 vol 361 cc606-7W
Mr. Edward Davey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if his Department intends to monitor the number of abandoned vehicles on public highways and private property over the forthcoming year and the associated removal costs incurred by local authorities; [146514]

(2) what measures his Department intends to introduce to assist local authorities with the removal of abandoned vehicles on public highways and private property. [146513]

Mr. Mullin

My officials are currently in discussion with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to address the growing problem of abandoned vehicles.

The Government have improved registration arrangements to require the seller to notify DVLA of a change of ownership. DVLA is encouraging local authorities to link electronically with them so that vehicle keeper information can be obtained more quickly. DVLA will also shortly issue a circular to all local authorities on the procedures for dealing with abandoned vehicles.

Last year the LGA carried out a survey on the scale of the problem, how it was being managed locally and the operating costs involved. A LGA/ACPO working group has been convened, involving Government officials, to produce (i) a good practice guide for local authorities and police forces on the management of abandoned vehicles and (ii) a Memorandum of Understanding between LGA and ACPO. At this stage, we believe a separate Government monitoring exercise on abandoned vehicles would create unnecessary duplication.

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