Buses blocked by car abandoned in St Albans city centre for two months

The abondoned car with flat back tyres outside Waterstones on St Peter's Street

The abondoned car with flat back tyres outside Waterstones on St Peter's Street - Credit: Archant

For over two months it has occupied a prime parking location in St Albans busy city centre.

The abondoned car outside Waterstones on St Peter's Street

The abondoned car outside Waterstones on St Peter's Street - Credit: Archant

Parked 24/7 in St Peter’s Street opposite Waterstones since March, 4 the nondescript blue Ford Mondeo has apparently annoyed market stallholders and kept buses from parking in the lay-by.

The vehicle was, for reasons unknown, left permanently stationed there after Herts Police arrested four occupants on suspicion of conspiracy to steal.

Ever since then it has been left to receive numerous parking tickets as both the police and the council were apparently unable to do anything about it.

Its presence, however, has annoyed local stalwarts, including St Albans city centre manger, Richard Marrett, and Eric Roberts, of St Albans Civic Society.

Eric said: “It is parked where coaches pull in, as it is an official drop-off place for visitors. No-one seems to know what is going on with it – it’s very odd. Is it going to stay there forever?”

Richard added: “It is a shame that the car has not been towed away. Not only does it make the city look untidy but also hinders coaches dropping off for the market and other tourist destinations within the city.

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“We hope that the matter can be resolved quickly and lessons learnt for the future so that incidents such as this do not happen again.”

A Herts Police spokeswoman said: “This vehicle has not been abandoned and has been left in a safe location off the main highway. The vehicle is taxed and insured and therefore officers have no legal powers to remove it.

“We have been working with the local authority and will be contacting the owner in the hope of arranging for the vehicle to be moved as soon as possible.”

Richard Shwe, the district council’s head of community services, said: “We now feel we are in a position to take action ourselves by towing it away for temporary storage at a suitable site.

“Our earlier investigations showed we had no powers to remove it for crushing as the vehicle could not be classed as abandoned.

“A number of parking tickets were issued, but it became apparent that the owner was not in a position to remove the vehicle himself.”

Richard added: “However, we were informed today (Wednesday) that the car’s insurance has now run out.

“For this reason we feel justified in removing it as an abandoned car. We will attempt to contact the owner before deciding what to do with it.”