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Health & Safety with abandoned vehicles

Health & safety issues with nuisance parking or abandoned vehicles are costly. Local authorities have a duty to remove an abandoned vehicle if it is on land in the open air or any land forming part of a highway, as stated in Guidance on Nuisance Parking and Abandoned Vehicle Legislation (Dept for Environment Food & Rural Affairs). Abandoned vehicles present a range of health & safety risks, including:

  • Vandalism

  • Burnt out vehicles produce materials called fluoroelastomers which turn into a highly corrosive acid, hydrofluoric acid, which is virtually impossible to remove from the skin

  • Harm to children playing in the vicinity

  • Parking on paved areas causing a hazard to partially sighted  individuals and children

  • Squalid environments attracting more crime

  • Legislation exists to assist local authorities in the removal of vehicles, such as the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act. However, there are significant costs associated with the removal of vehicles:

  • Collection and removal to an authorised treatment facility under the End of Life Vehicle directive

  • The costs of locating owners whose vehicles have a current licence or registration mark

  • Administrative costs associated with the above (notification to the DVLA etc)

  • While a local authority can charge a vehicle owner for the recovery  and storage of a vehicle, the sum may have to be pursued through the courts, incurring additional costs

  • Social costs affecting the environment.

Considerations for fire safety include:

  • 24 hour accessibility for the Fire & Rescue Service with clear access to fire hydrants

  • Ensuring that the width of the road for the passage of emergency appliances is not less than 3.2 metres as a result of unauthorised parking.

         

Gates left or pinned open will not prevent unauthorised access