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Saturday, 8 August 2015
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Monday 10 August: car vanished

Labour permits commercial car sales on public highways

Slough flooded with 'abandoned vehicles' for sale. Public demand action.

Report and photographs: Paul Janik
Abandoned for longer than a week at the Farnham Lane / Long Readings Lane junction

For the last 15-20 years, Labour-operated Slough Council had repeated turned a 'blind eye' to a gang of commercial car sellers operating in the area with, it is claimed, impunity.

A police source told the Slough Times:

  • the gang obtains cars from unknown sources, then sells the cars at high prices to unsuspecting and often naïve motorists.
  • car mileometers may have been tampered-with
  • the vehicles may not be in first-class road-worthy condition.
  • only a detailed forensic inspection will determine if cars are worth the selling price.

The gang park their 'for sale' cars on public roads and on roadside verges in Slough and South Bucks.

The police source estimates that, at any one time, there are between 30 and 50 For Sale cars parked on Slough roads and roadside verges.

Just 1 minute's walk from the home of the area's senior councillor Pavitar Mann (Labour, Britwell)

The most obvious sign of a potentially dodgy 'For Sale' car is a printed notice in the car's windows with an anonymous mobile telephone number.

The experienced police officer explained to the Slough Times

the gang are operating a commercial business, not declaring their profits to the authorities and not paying any taxes.

When something goes wrong with the vehicle, the seller often disappears and the mobile telephone number is unanswered or disconnected.

Buyers should be aware of the risk of buying what is, effectively, a vehicle abandoned on a public highway or a highway verge, without a proper receipt or guarantee.

RK59 PKN

Fiat model 500.

First registered on 30 December 2009.

Currently insured.

Expiry dates: MOT 30 December 2015; Road Tax 31 December 2015.

Telephone: 07761-535122



Public reaction

Public reaction to this long existing nuisance is universally the same. The cars should be towed away as abandoned vehicles.

Slough Unitary Authority, the almost fully privatised Labour-run council, has repeatedly done very little. Often ignoring the - to them 'invisible' - problem until residents make official complaints.

Residents stated if an individual wants to sell their car, they should do if from their own home, not park the vehicle in a street or on the grass miles away from where they live. Car dealers should operate from commercial premises not from the public highway.

A law against multiple vehicles

A different, but equally helpful, police officer told the Slough Times there is a law banning two or more vehicles for sale by the same entity being within 500 metres of each other in a street.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005
Part 2 : Nuisance parking offences
Section 3 : Exposing vehicles for sale on a road

  1. A person is guilty of an offence if at any time —
    1. he leaves two or more motor vehicles parked within 500 metres of each other on a road or roads where they are exposed or advertised for sale, or
    2. he causes two or more motor vehicles to be so left.
  2. A person is not to be convicted of an offence under subsection (1) if he proves to the satisfaction of the court that he was not acting for the purposes of a business of selling motor vehicles.
  3. A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.
  4. In this section —
    • “motor vehicle” has the same meaning as in the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 (c. 3);
    • Section 11
      “motor vehicle” means a mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads, whether or not it is in a fit state for such use, and includes any trailer intended or adapted for use as an attachment to such a vehicle, any chassis or body, with or without wheels, appearing to have formed part of such a vehicle or trailer and anything attached to such a vehicle or trailer;

    • “road” has the same meaning as in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (c. 27).
    • Section 142
      road — (a) in England and Wales, means any length of highway or of any other road to which the public has access, and includes bridges over which a road passes

    link to this section: http://sloughtimes.com/ns/ns15/ns15808.php#law

Police interest ?

The Slough Times asked the Head of Neighbourhood Policing in Slough, the Local Police Area Commander Simon Bowden, what - if anything - the police are doing about the ubiquitous 'cars for sale' nuisance.

Mr Bowden is holidaying until Tuesday, 18th August 2015. We will publish his reply.

Local councillor Pavitar Mann's reaction

The Slough Times asked Miss Mann, the local councillor who lives just one minute's walk away, and can see the abandoned car from the end of her exclusive cul-de-sac in Farnham Lane, for her comments.

If Miss Mann responds we will publish her reply.

Slough Unitary Authority's policy

The Slough Times has asked the local authority, which continues to operate using its old and out-of-date title 'Slough Borough Council', for their policy on removing the abandoned 'For Sale' cars littering the whole of Slough.

We will publish whatever Slough Unitary Authority supplies.

The council's responses:

Providing excellent customer services is one of the council's key priorities.

SOLA 011654