9 February 2016

Views wanted on caravans-on-streets issue

Residents are being asked for views about caravans, trailers or any other non-motorised vehicles (NMVs) parked on the roads of Brighton & Hove.

The council says it receives complaints and enquiries from residents about NMVs – which can also include horse boxes, catering vans or boats.  However there is currently no formal policy on what to do about them.

The authority is opening an online survey on its website and sending postcards to certain hotspot areas with higher levels of NMVs on streets.  These include Aldrington Basin near Shoreham Harbour, Carden Hill, Surrenden, Hollingbury, Pankhurst Avenue and the Elm Grove area.  But online views are welcome from any location.

The law says such vehicles do not need separate tax or insurance, or parking permits in controlled parking areas. Towing vehicles need not be attached.

Police can act if a trailer does not have reflectors facing the correct way at night, or if the wheels are not braked or chocked.

The council has powers to remove abandoned or dangerous caravans or trailers – but most are not in this category.  It can also take away anything considered to be a ‘structure’ on the highway.

Enforcement action is regularly taken against lived-in vehicles on the streets.

Chair of the environment and transport committee Cllr Gill Mitchell said:  “This can be a problem in some places – it can be unsightly and take up valuable parking spaces.  There are ways we can act already, but this has not happened historically.  So we want to ask people for their views first, rather than proceed in a heavy-handed way which upsets people before they can arrange alternatives.”

Fill in the survey on the council's website