The war’s not over – but the number of dumped vehicles is down by three-quarters.

Once, abandoned cars were everywhere – particularly if you lived in hard-up city neighbourhoods. Now – thanks to a mix of good management and good fortune – they have all but disappeared from our streets.

Just-released survey results show a dramatic 72% fall in the number of dumped vehicles reported to local councils, compared to four years ago. Where in 2003, 800 vehicles were called in daily across the UK, it’s now 225.

Paul Bettison, chairman of the environment board of the Local Government Association, which represents 400 councils, said the change is down to the ‘triple whammy’ of cracking down on would-be dumpers, quicker clearing up by councils and the soaring price of scrap metal.

‘These are helping to win the battle against unsightly old bangers being left on our streets,’ he said. ‘A few years ago, you’d have had to pay someone to take your car away, but now scrap metal dealers will pay you.’

But with 80,000 vehicles still dumped annually, there is still work to be done. Over 250 councils have signed up to the Reputation campaign, which commits them to remove abandoned vehicles within 24 hours.

Stephen Jury


August 18, 2008

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