High Court Upholds Tribunal on R.A.H.
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THE Court of Appeal on Wednesday dismissed with costs an appeal by three hauliers in the North East challenging a Transport Tribunal decision in favour of R.A.H. Transporters Ltd., of Darlington, which removed limitations on the overall length of articulated trailers used by the firm, provided the unladen weight stated in the old licence was not exceeded.
Previously R.A.1-1. Transporters had been granted a new A licence by the Northern Licensing Authority for use of four articulated trailers not exceeding 35 ft. overall length and one not exceeding 36 ft. There was a stipulation that not more than four trailers should he used at any one time.
Appellants Siddle C. Cook Ltd. of Consett, Sunter Bros. Ltd. of Northallerton. and A. Stevens (Haulage) Ltd.. of Middlesbrough. contended that present transport facilities were adequate and that the Transport Tribunal had not made clear to the road haulage industry the effects of provisions of the relevant regulations.
Lord Justice Sellers said the Transport Tribunal had not made it clear whether or not R.A.11. Transporters could properly trade in carriage of goods of exceptional length. It seemed desirable that the facility to carry exceptional loads should he stated if it was required, he • went oh. If that was done, so that the intention
was clearly revealed, then a licence specifying the number of vehicles and their unladen weight would seem adequate. An applicant would at all times have to comply with the regulation in question when carrying loads of more than 35 ft. in length.
The Tribunal, he said, seemed to have overridden somewhat summarily the Licensing Authority's views on excess, but it was a re-hearing and they thought R.A.H. Transporters should be allowed to trade as before. They had been trading without any infringement and did not come as newcomers in competition with the objectors. There seemed no justification for throwing them out now, said his Lordship.
Lord Justice Danckwerts agreed and said it seemed very unsatisfactory that the position of articulated vehicles over 35 ft. should be left so much in the air. If the lengths were not to be specified in the licence the interests of the public and possible objectors should be safeguarded, by inclusion in the application form a reference to lengths of vehicles. 1.6rd Justice Davies also agreed.