New weight rules are set out for buses
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NEW RULES governing the laden weight of buses and coaches have been laid before Parliament.
The regulations change the way in which the laden weight of new buses and coaches is assessed by the Department of Transport. Their maximum permitted gross and axle weights are being raised to match the slightly higher figures which currently apply to two-axled tractive units used in articulated lorries.
Roadside weight checks are impractical for buses and coaches and enforcement of weight restrictions takes place when the new bus is certified. It can be loaded with weights or calculated on the basis of its unladen weight to make sure that during its working life, it will be unlikely to exceed the permitted limits.
Front October 1, 1987, the assumed weight per passenger is being increased from 63.5kg to 65kg; all but the first four standing passengers, instead of all but the first eight, will be counted.
In future, baggage weight will have to be taken into account; the maximum permitted gross weight for two-axled buses and coaches will be increased from 16.26 tonnes to 17 tonnes and the maximum permitted axle weight is going up front 10.17 tonnes to 10.5 tonnes.
Transport Minister Lynda Chalker said: "These regulations will enable the laden weight of buses and coaches to be assessed more realistically than at present, as the. assumed weight allowed per passenger will be increased and for the first time an allowance will be in credit for baggage."
Mrs Chalker warned that better brakes and tyres would be required to ensure safe performance at the new higher laden weights.