Well here’s a story of our times… Man parks his rather lovely, fully restored, taxed, completely road-legal, 411 in a car-park in Camberwell. Thinking it abandoned, the council take it away and crush it
. It happened in 2004, and although Lambeth Council have said it was a mistake and admitted liability, owner Mendoza Stewart has still not yet received any compensation.
I was shocked when I heard this (although probably not as shocked as Mr Stewart), and a bit of Googling revealed that this is not the only case
. A couple from Streatham Common returned from holiday to find their car, legally parked outside the address at which it was registered, displaying a tax disc and correctly insured, had disappeared and again Lambeth Council were to blame. Their Mitsubishi had been broken into while they were away, and the council deemed it an eyesore so took it away and crushed it. I have to declare a more than academic interest here though – my 410 was towed away once after I accidentally left it in a residents bay, and that horrible, sick to the stomach feeling, on coming back and finding a Bristol-shaped gap among the parked cars is not something I wish to repeat. At least I was only away for an hour so managed to get to the pound (in Kentish Town, not Lambeth) before anything too final happened.
However, Lambeth now appear to be having a change of heart, and have announced that they are changing their procedures and will keep impounded cars for 28 days instead of the seven they were supposed keep them for, although Mendoza Stewart’s 411 was crushed on the same day it was removed.
So that’s OK then – just don’t go away for over a month.