Councils call for more powers over lorries


Council leaders have called for powers to fine lorry drivers who ignore weight restrictions in rural areas, with any surplus put towards fixing issues such as potholes.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said incidents of ‘reckless driving’ are causing disruption and putting lives at risk.

It cited a number of recent cases of drivers taking routes that were unsuitable for their vehicles, including some drivers simply following satnavs.


The LGA said councils are taking lorry drivers to court whenever possible, but are hampered by an expensive and bureaucratic process, clogging up magistrates' courts.

It said such cases could be done more cheaply and effectively if councils had civil enforcement powers to issue fines themselves.

The LGA said any surplus from fines after meeting enforcement costs could be used to tackle the £12bn pothole backlog.

LGA transport spokesman Cllr Peter Box said: ‘The actions of a minority of reckless lorry drivers inflicted on rural communities underline the need for councils to be given proper powers to deal with this increasing problem. If these drivers know they will face fines they will think twice about such selfish and irresponsible behaviour.

‘Councils are doing everything they can to help their residents by taking rogue lorry drivers to court. However, it is a time-consuming, costly and bureaucratic process and there is no guarantee councils will even be able to recoup their prosecution costs.

‘We are calling for a streamlined system which allows councils to fine lorry drivers who persistently blight communities. Councils want to be able to respond to their residents' concerns.'

Chrys Rampley, the Road Haulage Association's infrastructure manager told Transport Network the RHA was trying to get advice out to its drivers, as well as working with councils.

She said signage for weight restrictions needs to be far enough back to allow drivers to make a choice and there was in some cases not enough pre-warning.

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