Wisbech in danger of looking like used car lot, concerned residents claim
- Credit: Archant
RESIDENTS say more should be done to stop a grass verge alongside a Fenland road sometimes being used as a used car lot.
The grass area alongside the A1101 coming out of Wisbech is often covered in cars, caravans and vans with ‘For Sale’ signs.
Mike Carr, writing on community website ShapeYourPlace, said: “I think it presents a very poor picture of Wisbech as you drive into town along the A1101, past the town sign, which proclaims that Wisbech is ‘Capital of the Fens’, to then see that the capital is nothing more than a used car lot.”
His concerns were echoed by former Fenland District Council candidate Dean Reeves.
He said: “It really does present an awful welcome to the town. If the authorities are unwilling or unable to enforce then the only option is use a barrier or landscaping to present any vehicular access.
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“I would ask for local councillors to step forward and take ownership of the issue. It is an eyesore for residents, but it also one of the main routes into our town and does not set a good image.”
A fellow poster suggested an alternative use for the strip of land.
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Jayney said: “Why not plant it up and make it look as nice as the roundabout and Freedom bridge area?
“Surely having this area looking well kept and maintained would be part of “Wisbech in Bloom”, giving visitors, and residents something pleasant to view upon entering the town instead of a car lot.”
A Cambridgeshire County council spokesman said they are powerless to prevent vehicles parking on the land.
He said: “Although this area is grassed it is public highway. In the absence of any restrictions the parking of vehicles on the public highway is permitted.
“The actions of the owners of these vehicles are not in breach of the Highways Acts or Road Traffic Acts.
“We have sympathy with the concerns of local people in this matter but, unfortunately, we possess little in terms of legislative powers to provide a permanent solution.”
He suggested Fenland District Council may be able to intervene under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
He said: “The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 allows Fenland District Council to take enforcement action in cases where a person 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.”
A Fenland District Council spokesman said they do what they can to tackle the issue but their powers under the Cleaner Neighbourhoods environment Act are limited.
He said: “This is a recurring problem and we do what we can to tackle it.
“We do regularly monitor the area and advise individuals that this is not a good place to leave cars that are for sale. We also check up on the various mobile numbers displayed on the vehicles and report any untaxed vehicles to the DVLA, who have powers to remove them there and then.
“In terms of enforcement, however, our powers under the Cleaner Neighbourhoods Environment Act are very limited.
“To commit an offence under the Act, someone has to leave two or more vehicles for sale parked within 500 metres of each other and we have to prove that they are running a business selling motor vehicles.
“Gathering the evidence to prove that is extremely difficult. If residents have any information that provides clear evidence that a business is being run, they should inform us.”