Tower wagon was not a 'goods vehicle'
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A DEFENCE contention, that a vehicle fitted with a rectangular extendible tower and used as a tower wagon for street lighting, was not a goods vehicle, was accepted by Garstang magistrates last week.
Anderson and Heeley Ltd, of Kirkburton, Huddersfield, appeared on a charge of employing a driver to drive a heavy goods vehicle who was not the holder of a heavy goods vehicle driving licence. The driver, Ian Molloy, was charged with driving without such a licence.
The police, prosecuting, submitted that as the vehicle was originally a 3-ton Austin flat lorry, and as goods could still be carried around the tower, then it was still a goods vehicle.
Mr. J. A. Backhouse, defending, said the tower was permently bolted to the vehicle chassis, giving it an unladen weight of 3 tons 5 cwt. It was necessary to look at the vehicle in its adapted state and consider what it was ordinarily used for.
If the answer was the carriage of goods then it was a goods vehicle. But if the answer was a tower wagon for raising and lowering maintenance men to lamp's, then it was not a goods vehicle. If it was not a goods vehicle then the driver did not require to hold a heavy goods vehicle driving licence.
Dismissing the summonses the magistrates refused the defendants costs, saying that it was an important case and a proper one for the police to have brought.