Abandoned car reports more than double across county in last two years
- Credit: PA
Reports of cars abandoned around Suffolk more than doubled in the last two years, according to research.
The number of vehicles reported dumped across the county went from 1,269 in 2015 to 2,768 in the first 10 months of 2017.
Abandoned vehicles were reported to Suffolk councils almost every three hours last year, with Ipswich seeing a more than fourfold increase in since 2012 – from 123 to 773.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council was the only authority in Suffolk to record a fall in reports since 2015, with the fewest of any council last year (91).
Despite almost 3,000 reports of abandoned vehicles across Suffolk, just 279 were removed or destroyed by Suffolk’s seven districts and boroughs, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
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Disposal figures were unavailable for Ipswich, but the council declared a total cost of £1,048 to carry out the task last year.
Coventry was the UK’s “scrapyard capital”, according to research by financial services comparison website confused.com, with 2,321 cars confirmed abandoned in 2016/17.
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Nationally, councils spent £933,379 in 2016/2017 on removing 31,812 abandoned cars – but issued just £115,610 to drivers in fines.
Almost a quarter (23%) of 2,000 surveyed motorists had seen a car abandoned on the side of a rural B-road, while one five had also seen them clogging up residential areas.
The scrapheap of abandoned vehicles piled up in the East of England at a higher rate than any other region, with the number of removals 11 times higher in 2016 than in 2012.
Of drivers to admit abandoning their car, 30% said did so because it had broken down and they could not afford to have it towed.
Although garages and manufacturers have scrappage schemes to relieve drivers of old or unwanted cars, only one in eight (13%) had used the schemes.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at confused.com, said: “The rising cost of fuel, car insurance and tax is overwhelming some motorists, causing some of them to ditch their vehicles when they breakdown.
“Sadly, one of the reasons so many drivers are abandoning their vehicles is due to the rising cost of owning a car, especially car insurance, which is now £827 on average.”