Crackdown on sales of dangerous cars in Waveney

Emily DennisPeople selling dangerous vehicles from Waveney's verges have been caught in the act thanks to a crackdown by a partnership of local agencies.Emily Dennis

People selling dangerous vehicles from Waveney's verges have been caught in the act thanks to a crackdown by a partnership of local agencies.

After receiving intelligence from sources, Waveney District Council's environmental health team joined forces with representatives of Suffolk County Council's Trading Standards and VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) in a bid to tackle nuisance parking in the district.

Working in partnership, officers attended a site in south Lowestoft on December 15 to investigate the offence of nuisance parking - the illegal selling of two or more vehicles within 500 metres of each other.

Trading Standards provided advice on the legal aspects of selling motor vehicles and the VOSA inspector placed prohibitions on three of the vehicles displayed for sale because they were in a dangerous condition and unfit for use on the road.

It is their intention to make further enquiries into a local MOT station, which had recently issued one of the prohibited vehicles with a certificate.

The environmental health team issued three fixed penalty notices for nuisance parking. Information was also passed to benefit fraud investigators in respect of persons engaged in running a vehicle sales business while also claiming benefits.

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Ken Sale, Waveney District Council portfolio holder for environment said: 'Using the roadside verges and lay-bys as mock showrooms for car sales businesses is unfair to residents and businesses. It takes up parking spaces, causing a nuisance to residents wishing to park their own and their visitors' cars, and it damages local, legitimate trade. It is also a hazard to road users as people slow down to check out the price.

'This exercise has also demonstrated that the roadside is not the safest place to buy a car. It is shocking to think that, but for the actions of the agencies involved, three dangerous vehicles would still be on the road.'

Mick Southwick, district council environment protection officer, said: 'We will continue to work with other agencies and build on the relationships we've already forged to combat these and other offences that take place in the district of Waveney.'

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