Wensum ward councillor Caroline Brimblecombe who has been getting complaints about cars being sold illegally along Dereham Road.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Plans to stop verge car sales halted due to Budget cuts

Monday, February 25, 2013
12.56 PM

Council chiefs have said they are unable to take action against cars being sold on a Norwich street because of budget cuts.

Cars have been parked along the verge of Dereham Road advertised for sale for years, but following complaints the city council said it could do little in the next financial year because budgets were “under pressure”.

Wensum ward councillor Caroline Brimblecombe took up the issue after getting complaints from people living along Dereham Road.

She said: “It seems to be getting worse. It doesn’t tend to be individuals – people are doing it as a quasi-business. They know the rules and regulations and how to try it on.

“It is unsightly, causes damage to the grass and it can also obstruct sight lines and be a safety concern.

“Residents and neighbourhoods have the right not to play host to those selling cars from verges.”

She suggested that PCSOs or council workers might be able to leave notices on cars asking them to move, while patrolling the area.

And the problem was also highlighted at a meeting of Norwich City Council on January 29 when a member of the public asked cabinet member for the environment Bert Bremner if the council would take action against the sale of cars along Dereham Road.

Councillor Bremner said the authority could only take enforcement action against car sales where there were two or more cars being sold by the same owner within 500m of each other.

Mr Bremner said: “Civil enforcement officers target this section of Dereham Road along with other roads in the city and will take action accordingly.

“However, increasingly dealers are aware of the law and take steps to avoid prosecution. This means that our enforcement activities are less and less effective.”

He added that the council was not in a position to introduce a traffic regulation order which would ban parking on verges because the city’s Highways Agency Committee did not have the budget.

But Mrs Brimblecombe said: “The verge parking problem is long-standing and predates the recent central government budget cuts.”