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1st August 1996, Page 7
1st August 1996
Page 7
Page 7, 1st August 1996 — RIDDLE WRAPPI IN A MYSTERII
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

1 s there really any "mystery" to commercial yelwheel loss? Or is that single word simply a col nient excuse for poor maintenance and threat( the lives of road users and passers by? Presur the relatives of those killed by detached truck c bus wheels would share the view of Edmund Burl when he referred to the law thus: "...where mystE begins, justice ends." There's no shortage of thec as to why wheels come off trucks. Over-zealous i air guns resulting in stud stretching. Dirt or paint between the clamping surfaces preventing adeat. tightening. Sloppy fitting of wheels. Using right-h threads on the nearside wheels of vehicles, therel aggravating any loosening that can develop. Mc we're simply not tightening them up enough, or c least achieving the 22 tonnes tension per wheel s as recommended by the IRTE. It's certainly a mys as to why we continue to use a wheel fixing meth that's reached the zenith of its design capacity. It a mystery why the Department of Transport is on, ing to fund research that could provide a definitis answer. Wheel-loss expert Professor Leslie Hensh Brunel University believes he could find out a lot' project costing no more than £50,000. Consider each road fatality costs around £1,000,000—th( the DOT's own figure, not CM's—then £50,000 like excellent value for money. Meanwhile if you ate a bus or truck don't just

think your wheels are on ..., tight—make sure they are.

• Postscript on EC plans to force the UK to apply VAT on all road and bridge tolls. If Brussels gets its way we can look forward to long queues of HGVs at the Severn, Dartford, Humber and Forth road bridges as lorry drivers lean out of their cabs to request VAT receipts. Presumably hauliers can expect their VAT claims to be dispatched equally speedily.

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