Southampton ban waits for code
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• Controversial plans for an allout "unenforceable" HGV ban in Southampton have been put on hold while the city council sits down with hauliers to agree a voluntary code of practice.
This was decided last week at a meeting of operators and residents, following a campaign against the proposed night-time and Sunday ban by local businesses. This had been expected to result in a public inquiry later this year which, according to local haulier Bob Terris of Meachers Transport, "the council couldn't win".
Southampton's council had proposed banning trucks over 7.5 tonnes UV/ from all city-centre roads except the Western Approach road to the docks. The level of LGV traffic through residential areas does not warrant such a ban, says Terris, and the police objected to the ban because it would be unenforceable.
RHA South-East district manager Roger Wrapson and FTA controller Don McIntyre have welcomed the council initiative, but McIntyre warns that the code's measures must be reasonable.
Wrapson believes that angry residents would be satisfied with tougher enforcement of speed limits. He reports that the council has admitted the need for better signposting through the city to the docks. It also accepts that better management of depots and drivers would answer many complaints.
However, Neil Rivers of local firm LTS Freight is pessimistic: "The ban is not dead in the water yet."
Brent Council has decided to stay in London's night and weekend lorry ban scheme. The north London borough had intended to cut costs by quitting the scheme at the end of March, but councillors have been impressed by the ban's effectiveness says John Hale, director of the 20 participating boroughs' Lorry Ban Unit.
In the early hours of 19 March police and enforcement officers stopped 21 HGVs in Brent, bringing the total to 65 in six weeks. The campaign will result in 35 prosecutions.