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Hove car pound set to shut in council plan
Illegally-parked cars causing obstructions to other motorists will be coming to a street near you.
As it looks to save money, Brighton and Hove City Council has announced it will shut its vehicle pound.
Local authority bosses believe the current policy of towing vehicles and keeping them locked up in an off-street yard is “too harsh”.
Instead, from July, illegally-parked vehicles will be moved to an available bay in a nearby street, which bosses think will save it £130,000 a year.
But some motorists expressed fears the lifting of the deterrent will mean more drivers would flout the law.
Ian Davey, the chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “We’ve always maintained we want to make the parking rules fairer.
“Saving so much money while also scrapping the recovery fee is a win-win for residents and drivers.”
In 2011/12, 896 vehicles were taken to the council’s pound in Sackville Road.
To release cars, motorists have to pay a fee of £105 plus £12 a day in storage costs.
This is in addition to the original parking fine of either £50 or £75.
Under the new scheme, which was trialled last year, there will be no release fee or storage costs.
However drivers will still have to pay the parking fine.
Enforcement officers will issue an additional ticket every day the vehicles remain uncollected to prevent long-term abandonments.
A council spokesman said the majority of cars are traced after drivers call Sussex Police, which has access to the local authority log.
Motoring lobbyist Steve Percy, who sits on the city’s transport partnership, said: “It may be fair for those breaking the law but I do not think it’s fair on the rest of the motorists.
“If there is not the deterrent of towing away, people will park anywhere knowing they can get away with it.”
A decision on introducing the new scheme will be taken at the transport committee meeting on Tuesday.
It is part of a wider parking enforcement contract with NSL, which is expected to be re-appointed for a further three years.
The new deal is expected to save £400,000 annually, including £100,000 in IT costs.
Anyone concerned about cars abandoned in their street can call 01273 292929 or email email@example.com.
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