Thursday, 21 August 2008

Cars on North Road revisited

One of the first speeches I made in Council after my election last year was to ask for action to be taken against the rogue traders who sell their cheap, auction-bought cars on North Road. Usually there are up to 20 cars at various points between the old Shell garage and Northlands Church in my ward.

These cars are unsightly, interfere with residents' access to their houses and undercut legitimate car dealers who pay their rent, rates and taxes.

Eventually, earlier this year, a couple of traders were prosecuted or handed fixed penalty notices for having more than one car for sale within 500 metres of each other. For a while, car numbers dropped, sometimes down to just half a dozen on sale.

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult and time-consuming to track down the true owners of these car and achieve a successful prosecution. Over the past month or so, numbers have risen again. A couple of weekends ago (Sunday is the worst day) there were 29 cars for sale. This inevitably produced a rash of justifiable complaints from residents.

I contacted the Council and Bill Dixon, the lead member, to ask for a fresh campaign against this nuisance. Yesterday I was informed that action by the wardens has secured another fixed penalty notice. Furthermore, although the environmental enforcement team is apparently short-staffed (why?) a cunning plan has been hatched to rid us of this menace. I won't publicise the details of this campaign yet, but the stated intention of the officer responsible is to "target the vehicles and provide public reassurance...our aim is to make sellers and buyers stop using this area."


Anonymous said...

It's about time that these car dealers were sorted out and got rid of.

Is it just Darlington where this happens? If so our csar big Alan should be doing something to rid us of this eyesore

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes....

Why doesn't Tesco's offer the car dealers the old North Road petrol station or some other derelict site to ply their trade and bring them within the law?

At least they will be off the road. No doubt I will be shot down in flames about this.

My point is if they are moved on from one area they will only go to another part of town and it is a devil's only job to stop it.