I mentioned in a previous blog post the claim by the Daily Mail that charging for removing vehicles by Councils was illegal from 1991 (see https://freedomfordrivers.blog/2021/04/05/towing-away-of-vehicles-was-illegal/ ).
I wrote to the London Borough of Camden on this issue and have received the following response:
“I understand, having read your letter, that you believe Camden’s powers to remove and charge for a removal were unlawful at this time [in 2005].
Following the publication within the daily mail, we approached the department for transport (DfT) to outline our concerns regarding the article and potential implications for us and other councils. Additionally we set out our reasons why we did not agree with the position in the explanatory note regarding the ability for local authorities to charge for vehicle removals, storage and disposal. It was our belief that whilst sections 99-102 of the RTRA 1984 are not the simplest to follow, the legislation needs to be read as a whole to understand the full procedure and all aspects of the process that were covered.
We received a response from DfT that supports our view that local authorities’ powers to charge for the removal, storage and disposal of vehicles remain and were not inadvertently removed and that Sections 102(2) and 102(2A) still exist.
Specifically they stated that section 102(2) RTRA by section 68 Road Traffic Act 1991 were largely undone by the changes subsequently made to section 102(2) by Paragraph 4(2) of Schedule 11 to the TMA 2004. None of these changes as far as they can see had removed a local authority’s power to charge for removal, storage or disposal of a vehicle.
In light of this, it would appear that the explanatory note on page 19 (paragraph 83) is incorrect with respect to borough powers.
Therefore, I do believe the removal of your vehicle was conducted lawfully at the time”.
Having looked at the relevant legislation, which is exceedingly complicated and difficult to understand, it is certainly not clear that there was any intention to remove the power to charge for vehicle removal.
I have therefore accepted Camden Council’s explanation.
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