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Ealing in top 5 London boroughs for abandoned cars

A freedom of information request for how many cars are reported abandoned in London has revealed that from January 2000 to December 2022, Ealing received 4,593 reports placing it at number 4 of all London boroughs.

Abandoned cars reported in London
Abandoned cars reported in London

In London, the council with the least number of abandoned car reporting was Hammersmith and Fulham with just 134 cars reported over the same three year period.

The research was undertaken by Scrap Car Comparison who requested data from 96 councils across the country of which 80 responded to the Freedom of Information request.

Ealing Council responded with the number of abandoned car reports it had received for each year as follows:
2020: 1665 reports
2021: 1560 reports
2022: 1368 reports

David Kottaun, operations manager at Scrap Car Comparison commented: “Abandoned cars don’t just create a problem by blocking part of a road, a path, parking space or by simply being a bit of an eyesore – they also pose a very serious risk to the environment. Cars can leak hazardous fluids which could contaminate soil and water supplies, while also releasing harmful toxins and chemicals into the air.”

Mr Kottaun added: “Some cars are abandoned due to more suspicious circumstances, so if you feel you have spotted an abandoned vehicle, it is always worth reporting it to your local council”.

EALING.NEWS spoke to Ealing Council about the issue of abandoned cars.  A spokesperson said: “It is important that we make the technical distinction clear between vehicles which are abandoned and vehicles which are illegally or inconveniently parked. The Scrap Car Comparison article uses data about vehicles that have been reported abandoned, rather than vehicles which are actually abandoned.

“In Ealing, when a vehicle is reported as abandoned, each report is investigated by an officer who uses a specific set of criteria to assess if the vehicle is actually abandoned. We get between 2300 – 2500 reports of abandoned vehicles each year, and we will remove about 150-200 vehicles in a year.”

The Ealing Council spokesperson added: “Our criteria in relation to abandonment is usually expired tax, expired MOT, some physical signs that a vehicle has been stationary for a long time (rust or mould, vegetation growing under the vehicle, the amount of detritus on the vehicle, etc) or some combination of the three. The vast majority of abandoned vehicles reports refer to vehicles with valid tax and MOT and are either illegally or inconveniently parked (details of which are then shared with parking enforcement).”

Earlier this month in Hanger Hill, Ealing Council undertook a high profile removal of vehicles including cars that were abandoned with a dozen being removed.

At the time Council Leader Councillor Peter Mason said: “This was the first time that the council has attempted this sort of joint enforcement with the police for tackling both illegally parked vehicles and towing away abandoned vehicles at the same time.”

He added: “It will not be the last time, though, because local people and businesses should be able to go about their everyday lives and should not have to worry about being blocked and obstructed by anti-social and unlawful behaviour. These types of hotspots will be targeted again, both in the day and at night.”

The tough action came following an ongoing campaign by local councillor Athena Zissimos.

The Liberal Democrat councillor had been raising concerns to Labour-run Ealing Council about abandoned vehicles in the area, which is close to the North Circular Road, for many months and previously got 21 vehicles removed in November 2022.

Councillor Zissimos said: “Liberal Democrats brought the problem to the attention of Ealing Council months ago, and it is good seeing the issue being taken so seriously by the Council, as the Council continues in its efforts with the help of the Local Community Police.”

To report an abandoned vehicle to Ealing Council, click here.

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