lyron prepares for GLC ban
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.
E HAULIER which conrs it best to co-operate h the Greater London incil over its controversial y ban is Byron Cartage n London's East End. yron's transport director rie Courtney said that s of the ban's requireits for exemption permits "ridiculous" — but busi; sense will not let him ig e the possibility of the it and weekend ban being oduced on December 16. ,Ithough the future of the
still hangs on the come of the Government's cal in October, his cusiers still need to be served. people are going to bring regulations, you've got to iply with them," he said. lyron Cartage has one deat Vicarage Lane in Strati, East London. Its 10 -ies work mostly from the uclon docks on general tlage and container export I import business.
;even of its lorries are over 16.5 tonnes ban threshold, I the five-day-a-week :ration usually starts by Oarn — half an hour before ban is to be lifted in the rning.
iornetimes hazardous 3dsi have to be at the dock. 7alm, and Byron would
e the business to a haulier side London if it failed t t an exemption, Mr urticy said. "The GL • ee4 that this delivery ha co tinue to be made, an work kept in the GL a," he stated.
3yron also felt that there s a need to get in contact th the GLC over container rk for a Hemel Hempstead &round once every fort;ht a Byron lorry leaves at 1 5am to reach Hemel !mpstead for 6am. Then the ntainer is driven back to the ndon docks at Barking or sett, near Tilbury.
But if it could not run the n scheduled delivery, then would probably lose the n and 10am deliveries too, r Courtney said. In March 1984, Byron contacted the GLC for details of exemption to secure its work. The conditions have now been agreed unofficially, and the next step for Byron is to fill in the newly-printed permit exemption application form (see p11).
Byron ruled out avoiding the ban by using lighter vehicles or by moving on to an exempted route even although Vicarage Lane is only 500 yards from the exempted All, the Leytonstone High Road. But that 500 yards has been the cause of much negotiation.
"It's ridiculous — involving just a short distance like that we should have a total permit," Mr Courtney stated.
The oldest of Byron's seven articulated vehicles is a 1980 model. The newest one — a 1985 Ford Cargo 3220 — has been bought to beat the ban. It is expected to get an exemption for its quietness and newness. "We have had to buy a B-reg vehicle to cut down the need for a lot of the other requirements," Mr Courtney explained.
Luckily, he has managed to buy an ex-demonstration vehicle from Ford, but it had still cost him 05,000 to meet the requirements, he said. And although Byron normally replaces up to three vehicles a year with threeyear-olds, it now aims to get two or three other new ones by the end of next year.
Mr Courtney believes that it is better in the long run to buy a new vehicle than to try to modify the older ones with the GLC's hush-kit. The hush-kit costs more like £1,000 than the GLC's £400 quote, once the two-day fitting and the lost revenue is accounted for, he argued.
Mr Courtney said that he will have to arrange the older vehicles' work around the banned times because of their lack of exemption permits. Those vehicles will have to be held in the depot until 7am, "which will add to the congestion surely when they all start moving", he suggested.
But the lost time, the delays in heavy traffic and the possible need to delay work until the next day could cost Byron up to £300 a week, he estimated.
The new exempted vehicles will still be subject to some routeing directions from the GLC, he said.
If a lorry is sent over to Slough, for example, it will have to use the exempted routes — the All, Al2, M11, North Circular and the M4 — rather than cutting through Central London in the morning. This would "hardly crucify" the company, he admitted.
Despite some potential inconvenience and cost to Byron, Mr Courtney said that he agrees in principle with what the GLC is trying to achieve. He said: "It's wrong for outside vehicles to use London as a through route, but those in London should be able to trade normally."
He said that the GLC had been reasonable in its negotiations. But while he recognised that its abolition next April was probably a contributing factor, it could only be faulted for not waiting for the M25's completion next year, he said.
But while the legal arguments over the ban continue, and there is still uncertainty over its introduction on December 16, Mr Courtney said that he is glad he is prepared for the ban. "Fortunately we've covered the backdoor, but hauliers who haven't must be feeling very uncertain," he said.