Dumping cars can be an expensive business

Published: 15 December 2014

A motorist who abandoned his car and then failed to remove it when asked has learned the lesson that dumping old bangers on the street can be an expensive business.

Gerald Baxter-Warman of Florence Terrace, Kingston Vale, abandoned his 2002-registered silver Peugeot 206 by the side of the road near Putney Heath.

The car was badly parked and clearly abandoned and within a short period of time had been broken into by thieves.

The council put a sticker on the car asking its owner to remove it and at the same time began making enquiries with the DVLA to obtain the registered keeper’s details.

When his identity had been established, and because he had failed to remove the vehicle and dispose of it properly, Mr Baxter-Warman was given a £120 fixed penalty notice, which he declined to pay.

As a result he was then taken to court for breaching environmental protection laws. On the day of the hearing he was found guilty in his absence and ordered to pay fines and court costs totalling £1,168.

The council’s spokesman on cleaner streets Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “This is just another form of litter we are keen to stamp out. This is why we offer our residents a free removal service for their unwanted cars.

“If residents no longer want their vehicle then they can contact us and as soon as they surrender its documents and sign a consent form, we will remove it free of charge. If it’s still driveable people can also drop them off at our depot in Frogmore and we’ll take care of it from there.

“Mr Baxter-Warman made the foolish and also selfish decision to simply dump it by the roadside, where it became a magnet for criminal activity, an eyesore for residents living nearby and occupied a much-needed local parking space.

“And by failing to move it when he was asked or pay the penalty notice he ended up being saddled with a much heavier fine in court. I hope this serves as a lesson to other drivers tempted to dump their unwanted vehicles in someone else’s neighbourhood.”

Owners who wish to take advantage of the council’s free removal service can visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/unwantedvehicles.

If residents believe that a car parked in their street has been abandoned they can check if it is taxed or not by visiting www.vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk. If it has no road tax then they can report it here www.gov.uk/report-untaxed-vehicle