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Abandoned Vehicles Crackdown 6 June 2004

The Department of Local Government and the Environment is to seek approval at the June 2004 sitting of Tynwald for the introduction of tougher rules to combat the problem of abandoned vehicles.

The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 2004 are intended to speed up the process of dealing with such vehicles and to increase the charges for doing so.

Under the new regulations derelict and dangerous vehicles can be removed after 24 hours instead of seven days. The time in which an owner can reclaim a vehicle from the compound after removal is reduced from 21 days to 7 days.

There are also changes to cut down on checking and paperwork so that the Department will be able to deal with public complaints quickly and effectively.

Charges have not been increased since 1989 and the new charges generally reflect inflation over the period. Reflecting the present higher costs of dealing with abandoned vehicles, it is proposed that the charge for removal should go up from £55 to £90, for storage from £5 to £10 per day, and for disposal from £12 to £60.

But the Department is also proposing a higher scale of charges for larger commercial vehicles (ie larger than a Ford transit van, with an unladen weight of 1500kg or more) to take into account the greater cost of dealing with such vehicles. The higher charges are £270 for removal, £30 per day for storage, and £180 for disposal.

In addition to these charges and under the present law, anyone summarily convicted of abandoning a car can also be fined up to a maximum of £5,000.

Mr Eddie Lowey, MLC, Member of the Department with responsibility for waste management, said:

"The proposed increase in fees will more accurately reflect the true cost of the service which should not be borne by the general public. This should act as a deterrent against those who act irresponsibly by abandoning vehicles as a cheap form of disposal.

"Overall, the cumulative effect of these changes will help the Department to deal with the ever increasing numbers of abandoned vehicles."

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