A DUMPED caravan is causing fury in a Hartlepool neighbourhood.
Residents say the touring caravan has been left in a “hazardous” position in Cornwall Street, near to the junction with Derby Street, around 10 months ago.
Local people have grown impatient after the owner failed to collect the abandoned vehicle and complained to Hartlepool Borough Council and Cleveland Police.
But police say it is a matter for Hartlepool Borough Council and local authority chiefs say they have to try to contact the owner and they cannot immediately remove it.
Council bosses say officers are trying to deal with the situation.
Residents sought the help of independent Hartlepool councillor John Lauderdale, who is now fighting the battle for them.
He says the caravan occupies the road in front of two vacant properties and is parked dangerously, obscuring the view for people wanting to turn left from Derby Street into Cornwall Street.
Coun Lauderdale, who represents the Burn Valley Ward, said he has also had trouble getting the caravan removed and asked the highways department of the council to trace the owner through its registration plate.
But council chiefs say the owner no longer lives in the town.
Coun Lauderdale said: “It’s been in the street 10 months. I asked for a search to be carried out on who owns the caravan and it’s someone from out of town.
“The local authority is trying to say that there’s nothing it can do about it.
“With it being in Derby Street it seems a lower priority.”
A spokesman for the council said officers are taking action, but urged residents to be patient as a process has to be followed.
He said: “We are aware of this caravan, but we cannot remove it without first trying to contact the owner.
“We have written to the owner who lives out of town, but as yet we have not received a response.
“We will be following up on the letter in the next few days.”
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “The caravan causing an obstruction would not be a matter for the police, it would be down to the council.”
Coun Lauderdale, who also lives in the area, says the caravan is positioned in such a way that even he is put off travelling up Derby Street in his car.
“I live in Cornwall Street and I don’t like driving up Derby Street from the Oxford Road end because if you want to turn left you can’t see if there’s oncoming traffic,” he said. “It also considerably reduces road access, and for me it’s a major concern if there should be an emergency. Services such as fire, police and ambulance which might be in a hurry, there is a risk. It is also unsightly.”