Caravan crushed in crackdown to free up parking in Portsmouth

DESTROYED The caravan removed from New Road, North End. Inset, parked before it was crushed
DESTROYED The caravan removed from New Road, North End. Inset, parked before it was crushed
Picture: Malcolm Garbutt

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THERE is one less caravan parked on Portsmouth’s streets after this one was crushed in a council crackdown.

It is the first victim of a ban on leaving non-motorised vehicles parked on public roads for long periods, which was introduced last year.

The caravan parked before it was crushed

The caravan parked before it was crushed

A total of 59 caravans, boats and trailers are at risk of suffering the same fate after notices were put up telling their owners they need to be moved.

The council removed and crushed the burnt-out caravan after residents complained that it had been left in New Road, North End, for months.

It was destroyed at Silverlake breaker’s yard, Shedfield, after the owner failed to respond to a warning notice. He will now be pursued by the council for the cost of moving and crushing it.

Leader of the council Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘There is so little parking in the city that people just using it for leaving caravans and trailers around is a real problem for other people.

‘Most caravan owners are responsible and hire somewhere to store it or have their own space, but parking is at such a premium in the city that it is important that it is used well.’

Under the new crackdown, the council can put up legal notices warning that if vehicles are not moved within 28 days they will be taken into storage.

To reclaim them owners must pay £60 for removal, £7.14 per day for storage, and after 14 days the vehicles will either be sold or destroyed.

This is allowed under section 143 of the Highways Act 1980, which states that unauthorised structures capable of causing an obstruction can be removed from the highway.

Hilsea ward councillor and Tory deputy Lord Mayor Frank Jonas said it was good to see the council following through on its policy.

‘We can’t have caravans and trailers taking up valuable parking spaces in a city like this,’ he said.

‘I have no problem with what the council is doing at all. It’s long overdue.’

In what it calls the ‘worst case scenario’ the council calculates that in the policy’s first year removal, storage and disposal could cost £5,050.