Abandoned cars cleared from streets

The high price of scrap metal has contributed to an 80% fall in the number of abandoned vehicles across England over the past few years, a new report has shown.

Councils across the country were collecting an average of 800 abandoned vehicles every day in 2003. By last year the figure had fallen to 225.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the fall was due to a combination of tough enforcement by councils, a crackdown on the problem as well as the increasing price of scrap metal.

The biggest improvements were in the East Midlands, South of England and South West, with some authorities reporting falls of over 90%.

Paul Bettison, chairman of the environment board at the LGA, said: "A triple whammy of cracking down on would-be dumpers, quicker clearing up by councils and soaring metal prices are helping to win the battle against unsightly old bangers being left on our streets.

"A few years ago, you'd have to pay someone to take your old car away but now, scrap metal dealers will pay you up to £1,000 for the pleasure. This has definitely helped the situation but councils are also playing an important role. They've listened to the concerns of local people and reacted accordingly."

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