Vehicles being ‘dumped and abandoned’ in a Harrow park car park has been blamed on the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) expansion, but others have described this as being ‘a bit silly’.
A Harrow councillor suggested it was the Mayor of London’s fault that upwards of 50 vehicles have been left at Headstone Manor Park while they wait to be scrapped.
An opposition councillor, Simon Brown, raised the issue with Harrow Council at a Cabinet meeting yesterday (Thursday, November 16) after receiving complaints from residents that they couldn’t use the park because a breaker yard was taking up all of the car parking spaces.
The portfolio holder for community and culture, Cllr Jean Lammiman, said it’s a problem the council were made aware of ‘some time ago’ and it has issued the scrappage company with a community protection notice (CPN) – a warning to businesses committing anti-social behaviour. However, Cllr Jammiman went on to blame ULEZ for the ongoing issue.
She said: “While of course, we do not condone the abandonment of these cars, they have been dumped as a result of ULEZ due to people struggling to pay the mayor’s tax each time they want to use their car.”
She added: “It’s sad that visitors to the park and museum are suffering the consequences of the mayor’s money-making scheme.”
Cllr Brown suggested blaming ULEZ for the dumped vehicles is ‘a bit silly’. He said: “It’s rather absurd to blame the Mayor of London for the fact that Harrow Council can’t control who parks in their own car parks.
He added: “Also, it shows how successful the mayor’s scrappage scheme is in taking these non-compliant vehicles off the road.”
The £160 million scrappage scheme provides grants to drivers whose vehicles aren’t ULEZ compliant to go towards buying a new one.
The breaker yard was at times taking up all of the parking spaces in the car park, according to Cllr Brown. He said the issue has been going on for ‘at least ten weeks’ and ‘regularly involves in excess of 50 vehicles’ as well as visits from lorries delivering and collecting the cars.
The Headstone councillor urged the council to ‘stop this nuisance’ that is preventing locals from enjoying the park and called for a borough-wide plan as other parks in Harrow are facing similar issues with non-users taking up parking spaces.
Cllr Lammiman said: “It’s very much at the heart of what [park user groups] are worried about. […] They lose the space where park users can park to go for a walk, take their dogs, go cycling, and put on events.”
She added: “If something is dumped there for some time it makes a lot of difference. I want to see it sorted as quickly as we can. […] We are really on the case.”