Drivers who illegally leave their cars parked preventing road resurfacing could now face being fined or having their car moved under new powers.
Essex County Council has decided to trial the use of powers to move vehicles and issue the driver with a Penalty Charge Notice to help offset the cost of moving their vehicle. The aim is to save taxpayers thousands of pounds by stopping parked cars delaying important road resurfacing works.
On the rare occasion a car may need to be moved, crews will aim to move it to a safe and nearby alternative parking location so the owner can easily find it. Crews will make efforts to contact the driver before moving the vehicle and will also inform police of the car’s new location after it is moved.
Councillor Ian Grundy, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, has vowed Essex Highways crews will take a ‘common sense’ approach to using these new powers only when entirely necessary.
He said: “Resurfacing is a vital way to keep our roads safe and in a good condition. Before we resurface roads our crews make every effort to contact residents – putting leaflets through doors, signs up on site and information online asking people not to park on the road.
“Crews can waste hours looking and waiting for drivers who park on roads during resurfacing works. In the worst cases, delays can cost up to £10,000 as we have to call crews and equipment back on a different day or evening.
“We will take a common sense approach when using these new powers. Moving a vehicle will always be a last resort after our crews have made every effort to find the driver of the vehicle.
“This way we hope to encourage people to move their cars before work begins and allow us to improve their roads.”