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Vehicle Recovery Consultation

Introduction

This consultation finished on the 21st February 2008. To find out more about what happens next please visit our Vehicle Recovery pages.

This consultation took place to enable you to comment on the following proposed draft regulations:

The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles by Traffic Officers (England) Regulations 2008 ('the Regulations')

This consultation proposes to:

  • Provide Traffic Officers designated under Section 2 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 (‘Traffic Officers’) with powers to request, remove or arrange the removal  from the Strategic Road Network  (and roads affecting it) of vehicles that are parked illegally, abandoned, and broken down, which are causing danger or obstruction to other road users; and
  • Give the Secretary of State for Transport the power to store and dispose of vehicles that have been or appear to have been abandoned, and that have been removed by Traffic Officers.

These powers will be similar to powers the Police currently have under the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 1986.

The consultation document will:

  • Provide background information to explain why the Regulations are required;
  • Provide a summary of current removal and disposal regulations, the powers the Police have and highlight the differences between these and the new Regulations;
  • Set out proposed future policy.

The Police are equipped with powers to remove, store and dispose of vehicles which are:

  1. Broken down or accident damaged and are causing an obstruction or likely to cause a danger to other road users;
  2. Contravening a statutory prohibition or restriction, for example being illegally parked; or
  3. Abandoned or appear to have been abandoned.

The new proposals do not seek to transfer legal powers from the Police to Traffic Officers. The Police will continue to remove and dispose of vehicles from roads other than motorways and on motorways in certain circumstances, e.g. where criminal activity is suspected or where a fatal or serious injury has occurred. 

The consultation focuses on the powers Traffic Officers need to effectively carry out the removal of vehicles on the Strategic Road Network and roads affecting the Strategic Road Network1.

It is envisaged that Traffic Officers will carry out or arrange for the removal of abandoned and broken down vehicles and where relevant, the Secretary of State will arrange for storage and ultimate disposal of abandoned vehicles.

This consultation does not cover or seek to cover:

  • Issues surrounding the operation of existing or new removal or recovery schemes; or
  • Issues surrounding the statutory charging regime for the removal, storage and disposal of vehicles.

It would be appreciated if you could consider this when responding.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks from November 29th 2007.

The Highways Agency welcomes your comments on the above proposals contained in the Regulations which are attached in Annex A of the document. You may also wish to respond to the questions we have asked under 'Consultation Questions' (see Section 8 of the document).

A partial Regulatory Impact Assessment has been carried out to assess the impact of the Regulations and is available in Annex B of the document. You are invited to comment on this also.

Consultation Criteria

The consultation is being conducted in line with the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Consultation. The Criteria are listed in Annex D of the document which also includes details as to who to contact should you be unhappy with the way in which the consultation is being run. The full version of the Code can be accessed at: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/regulation/consultation/code/index.asp.


1 The Strategic Road Network comprises of most motorways and major trunk roads (usually referred to as 'A' roads) in England and are roads for which the Secretary of State for Transport is the highway authority.