Thanet has been chosen as the first part of Kent to pilot a new way of removing abandoned and untaxed vehicles from the streets.
A new way of running Operation Cubit has been introduced, which means that twice the number of vehicles can now be removed at any one time and a five day crackdown last week (week commencing Monday 14th August) saw more than 50 abandoned and untaxed vehicles taken away to the pound.
Under the new scheme, vehicles can also be removed immediately, whereas previously they were clamped and then the teams returned for them later. Areas targeted in last week’s blitz included Ramsgate, Westgate, Cliftonville and Margate. The week also included a multi agency roadside stop at the St. Nicholas at Wade roundabout.
The scheme involves Thanet Council, Thanet Police, Kent County Council, the DVLA, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and NCP.
In total, 53 vehicles were taken away during the week long crackdown, while owners paid for another five to be released at the roadside. They had to find £200, of which £120 is refundable if they tax their vehicles within two weeks. If they fail to either tax their vehicles or declare them as being off the road, there will be a follow-up visit to check whether the vehicle is still being driven illegally and if it is, it will be removed.
Six owners, whose car tax expired at the end of July, also received warnings and their details were forwarded to the DVLA for enforcement action, although their vehicles were not removed.
Project Manager of the Thanet Community Safety Partnership, Nigel Cruttenden, said: “Thanet consistently gets excellent results whenever we run Operation Cubit, which is why the area was chosen to pilot this new version of the scheme. This is a much tougher Operation Cubit, with vehicles being removed from the roads more quickly than previously, with no need for clamping first. The changes to the scheme mean we can also take away more vehicles than before, so if you’re the owner of an untaxed vehicle, then be warned, Operation Cubit is back and we’re able to achieve more than ever. It’s also important to remember this isn’t just about old, abandoned and unroadworthy vehicles, although that’s part of what we’re targeting. Over the last week, we picked up a lot of newer vehicles without tax, which just goes to show the impact that Cubit has already had in removing older vehicles from Thanet’s streets.”