HC Deb 15 April 2002 vol 383 c738W
Mr. Dismore

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many responses to the consultation on abandoned cars were received; how many were(a) supportive of and (b) against reducing the notice period for removal; when he expects to bring forward proposals for reform; and if he will make a statement. [48746]

Mr. Jamieson

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 10 April a package of measures that the Government had taken to deal with the problem of abandoned vehicles. New regulations came into effect on 9 April to reduce the notice periods after which abandoned vehicles could be removed and disposed of. It is now possible where vehicles of no value have been abandoned on the highway for a local authority to remove and dispose of them on the termination of a 24 hour notice. In addition, measures were announced to promote joint working between local authorities and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

My right hon. Friend also announced his intention to reform the vehicle registration system to ensure that, in future, all vehicles can be traced to the correct keeper.

The Government's consultation on abandoned cars issued in October 2001 attracted 361 responses from organisations and individuals. Over half of the respondents were local authorities. A full report has been placed in the Libraries of the House, giving a breakdown of responses and a full list of respondents.

In general respondents supported the Government's proposals. 115 respondents expressed support for the proposals as a whole, 155 expressed a general support for immediate measures including the reduction of notice periods, with 46 expressly supporting the reduction of notice periods. There was very little opposition to the proposals.