Cars and other vehicles are a part of everyday life, providing the means to access education, training, employment, leisure and other opportunities.
Vehicles are also a major source of nuisance. Individuals or businesses may repair or offer them for sale on the road, using the street as a mock garage or showroom. They may be poorly parked; causing an obstruction; involved in a residential parking dispute; broken down and/or untaxed. Nuisance vehicles may also be abandoned.
Nuisance vehicles are a visible blight on neighbourhoods, contributing to a fear of crime and a general sense of decline. They may also attract other acts of anti-social behaviour such as arson, vandalism, fly-tipping, and prostitution.
- Over the last decade, attention has focused on abandoned vehicles. Modernisation of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) licensing and registration system and local authority campaigns, as well as changes in the value of scrap metal, have seen numbers decline.
- More recently, however, other types of vehicle have been increasingly recognised as posing a nuisance by local authorities and their partners.
- To bring about improvements in these areas, Keep Britain Tidy would like to make the following recommendations.
- Strategies to deal with all types of nuisance vehicles. All types of nuisance vehicles pose significant problems and detract from the amenity of an area. Moreover, when a vehicle is broken down or unroadworthy, it is more at risk of being abandoned. For these reasons, Keep Britain Tidy believes that any strategy designed to deal with abandoned vehicles must include a component to tackle other types of nuisance since these measures may prevent the vehicle from ultimately being abandoned.
- Local authorities to work in partnership with other agencies. Local authorities have operational responsibility for nuisance vehicles working in partnership with the police and the DVLA. Keep Britain Tidy believes that partnership working is essential to dealing with this issue and would like to see a greater role played by other agencies including housing associations, registered social landlords, and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships.
- Local authorities to adopt a holistic approach to nuisance vehicles. It is vital to prevent cars from becoming a nuisance in the first place. Keep Britain Tidy believes that this can be achieved through a combination of campaigning, enforcement and by offering the public a convenient and cost effective way to dispose of their vehicle. Where nuisance vehicles do occur, they must be dealt with rapidly and efficiently to prevent further problems such as arson, fly-tipping, vandalism and theft.
- Local authorities to take up the powers available to them. To prevent cars from becoming a nuisance, enforcement must be effective. An individual must believe that there is a high probability of getting caught if their car poses a nuisance, and fines must be large. Keep Britain Tidy believes that the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (CNEA) 2005 will make it easier to deal with problems of abandoned and nuisance vehicles and would like to see local authorities take up the powers available to them.