Bradford Council has swiftly addressed the issue of untaxed and abandoned vehicles, seizing a total of 44 such vehicles from the streets within the first few months of gaining enhanced enforcement powers, granted at the close of last year.

Ever since December 2023, following the allocation of these new powers, officers from the local authority have been empowered to remove, store, and dispose of untaxed vehicles effectively.

This development is significant as not all local authorities possess such delegated powers. The Bradford district now stands as only the second authority in West Yorkshire to be bestowed with this crucial alteration.

The alteration proves instrumental in streamlining efforts to combat this pressing issue. Prior to this, vehicles often slipped through the cracks, amid uncertainties regarding the responsibility for their removal – whether it fell under the jurisdiction of the Council or the DVLA.

Under the newly acquired powers, the authority can remove vehicles lacking valid tax, as well as those with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), from both adopted and unadopted highways, or open-air spaces like supermarket car parks.

Moreover, the amendment equips the Council with broader authority to crack down on individuals employing public highways for purposes such as storing vehicles for sale or conducting commercial vehicle repairs unlawfully.

During the initial three-month period of 2024, the Council’s Traffic and Enforcement Team took action by removing 44 vehicles and seven caravans from the highways. Out of these, 20 vehicles were subsequently taxed and reclaimed by their owners, while five still languish in the impoundment, and 19 met the crusher.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said: “These powers allow us to tackle abandoned vehicles and those causing a nuisance, and as well as those which are untaxed, they may also be unroadworthy, unregistered and uninsured. The action taken so far sends a clear message that we will act to remove these illegal vehicles from our roads. Operations will be continuing across the district throughout the year.”

Residents can report untaxed and abandoned vehicles in the Bradford district by calling 01274 431000.