Fleet News

Removing abandoned vehicles

The Highways Agency starts a public consultation over proposals to allow traffic officers to remove broken down or abandoned vehicles from the strategic road network.

The powers that would be given to traffic officers would be similar to those already exercised by the police.

The consultation will last for 12 weeks.

In its consultation document, the Highways Agency is seeking new legislation to remove certain, abandoned and broken down vehicles from England's motorways and major A roads.

Breakdowns on the strategic road network cover only around 2% of all break downs. The proposal for the new legislation aims to:

  • provide traffic officers with similar powers to the police to request or remove from the strategic road network abandoned and broken down vehicles causing an obstruction or danger to other road users

  • provide the Secretary of State with powers to store and dispose of abandoned vehicles removed by traffic officers.

  • allow the Secretary of State to recover charges in respect of vehicles removed, stored or disposed under the regulations.

    Derek Turner, the Highways Agency's director of traffic operations, said: "Giving traffic officers the power to arrange the removal of vehicles which are abandoned or are causing an obstruction or danger to other drivers on the network was always planned.

    "These powers, which would apply in all but the most serious police-led incidents, are an extension of the work they are already doing around the clock to improve safety on our motorways.

    "However, we are keen to hear what everyone else thinks."

    The police will retain their powers to remove and dispose of vehicles but the extension of similar powers to traffic officers will free up police time.

    Anyone wanting to comment during the consultation period, can visit: www.highways.gov.uk/VehicleRecoveryConsultation.

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