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November 18, 2003 12:00 AM

Local Councils have been hit by a 27% rise in the number of abandoned cars according to the latest Government figures.

The statistics uncovered by the Liberal Democrats show a cost of up to £14.6m to remove 293,000 abandoned vehicles in 2001/02 the last year for which figures are available. Over 60,000 more cars were dumped in 2001/02 compared with 2000/01 when the costs were up to £11.5m. This rise comes as the government has failed to introduce policies to make producers responsible for the cost of recycling end of life vehicles, as is the case in Europe.

The top five dumping hotspots were Newham (8,117 cases), Enfield (6,347), Birmingham (5,257), Sandwell (5,247) and Southampton (5,000).

Responding Liberal Democrat's Shadow Environment Secretary Norman Baker MP, said:

"The rise in dumped cars is becoming an urban environmental disaster. We've all heard of the dumped fridge mountain and now we face an abandoned car mountain on the same scale. Britain is in danger of becoming a huge breakers yard.

"Recent research suggests that the Governments new policy of making the last owner pay for recycling of a car will lead to twice as many dumped cars and an annual £30m bill to the taxpayer. Responsibility must move from the individual to the manufacturers as is the case in Europe."


Notes to Editors

1. Abandoned Cars in England increased by over 27% between 2001 and 2002 - to 293,000 abandoned cars - at a cost of almost £15m each year to local authorities 3 Nov 2003 :

Column 402W Mr. Morley: Information on abandoned vehicles was collected for the first time in the Municipal Waste Management Survey covering the financial year 2000-01. Data up to the latest year for which they are available are shown in the following table:

Financial year Number of abandoned vehicles removed Estimated cost (£ million)(5)

2000-01 230,000 Between 6.9 and 11.5

2001-02 293,000 Between 8.79 and 14.65

(5) Based on estimated disposal costs of between £30 and £50 per vehicle.

2. Figures released in a Parliamentary Answer to Norman Baker reveal the Top 10 Abandoned Car "Hotspots"

1. Newham 8,117

2. Enfield 6,347

3. Birmingham 5,257

4. Sandwell 5,247

5. Southampton 5,000

6. Ealing 4,916

7. Luton 4,876

8. Lewisham 4,671

9. Haringey 4,560

10. Barnet 4,431

[From PQ 131286 - 16th October 2003 - see below for full details]

Parliamentary question asked by Norman Baker on the amount of cars abandoned

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many abandoned cars each local authority in England and Wales stated they had removed in their submissions to the most recent municipal waste survey. [131286]

Mr. Morley: The question on how many abandoned vehicles removed by local authorities in England and Wales was most recently asked in the 2001-02 Municipal Waste Management Surveys for England and Wales. Data recorded by district show that 320 local authorities out of a total of 376, responded to the abandoned vehicles question.

Full figures on dumped cars by Local Authority available form the press office on number above.

3. A recent report has suggested that the level of abandoned cars is due to rise even further still due to failings on the End of Life Vehicle Directive - by potentially another 1/4m per year

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