Skip operators who don’t comply with the law may now be fined £200, in a move to protect residents and maintain road safety agreed by London boroughs.
London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) agreed to set penalties for contravening regulations for operating skips on London’s public highways, including offences such as not removing a skip once full or not having proper lighting.
It follows a public consultation in which more than 80 per cent of respondents agreed with a £200 penalty – reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days or increased to £400 if not paid within 28 days.
Cllr Julian Bell, Chair of TEC, said: “Illegally-operated skips are a blight on many Londoner’s lives. This decision is an important step forward in boroughs’ power to crack down on this problem and will also have a positive impact on road safety.
“These powers will also cost boroughs less to enforce than in the past and operators will have the right to appeal. I’m confident the level of penalty charges will act as a powerful deterrent to anyone operating skips outside the law.”
The committee also agreed new discretionary powers for councils to immobilise skips which contravene regulations – for example, where the identity of the skip’s operator is not known – thereby incurring a £100 release fee in addition to the penalty charge notice.
Boroughs required London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee to agree a pan-London penalty charge before the powers – contained in the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2013 – may be enforced. The Secretary of State must now ratify the decision and boroughs wishing to enforce the new powers must agree this at full council.
Previously, some London boroughs issued fixed penalty notices of £100 for offences relating to the operation of skips or pursued criminal prosecutions against skip operators.
The legislation – the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2013 – contains provisions for boroughs to decriminalise the following offences (relating to skips being used on public highways):
- operating without a permit
- operating without proper lighting during the house of darkness
- operating without clear and indelible markings of the owner’s name and telephone number or address
- not removing a full skip as soon as it is practicable to do so
- not moving or repositioning a skip where required as soon as it is practicable to do so
- not fulfilling others conditions under which the permit was granted.