Action taken in Swanage against abandoned cars

As part of an enforcement operation, a team from Dorset Council has targeted abandoned vehicles in towns across the county, including Swanage.

The council’s waste enforcement team also took action against abandoned cars in Bridport, Portland and Weymouth.

Vehicles are considered abandoned if they are parked on a public highway or land and are not taxed. The team gets about 1,300 legitimate reports of them each year, around 60 percent of which qualify for enforcement.

This could mean clamping, fines or removal.

Abandoned vehicles a “cause anger and frustration”

Councillor Jill Haynes, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for customer and community services, said:

“Abandoned vehicles are an eyesore and often cause anger and frustration within the community. Owners have a responsibility to ensure that any vehicle parked on the highway is fully taxed, especially as these are also unlikely to be insured, which could have greater implications for both owners and other road users.

“When you consider the potential fines, it is far cheaper to ensure your vehicle is taxed if you leave it on a residential road. This also applies to vehicle traders, who must note that they cannot store untaxed vehicles on the highway for commercial purposes.”

Abandoned car
Dorset Council

One of the cars targeted in the Dorset-wide operation

Countywide problem

The enforcement team carried out an operation in the Lynch Lane area of Weymouth on Tuesday 16th March 2021.

They discovered a total of nine untaxed vehicles, which were clamped and removed, meaning the owners will now have to get vehicle excise tax and pay fees to have their vehicles returned.

Enforcement officials had conducted operations the previous week, which included their trip to Swanage among other places. During that week, three vehicles were clamped and the owners fined £100.

24 hours later, these vehicles are removed, the fine increases to £200 and the owner must prove the vehicle has been taxed or pay a deposit of up to £700. The DVLA could also issue a fine of up to £1,000, or five times the annual tax cost.

The council is appealing for the vehicle owners to contact the waste enforcement team on 01305 225473 to get their vehicles back.

Report abandoned vehicles 

Anyone who sees a vehicle they suspect may be abandoned can report it to the authorities on 01305 221040 or by filling out an online form.

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