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4th September 1997
Page 7
Page 7, 4th September 1997 — TIME OFF FROM TIME WASTING
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

If one good thing has come out of continuous 0licensing it's a fall in the number of objections from local residents. Sometimes the world seems to be full of busy-bodies with nothing better to do than wander around collecting signatures for one lost cause or another. A prime target for these hyper-active dogooders are "noisy, smelly juggernauts which keep us awake at night, break up the roads and threaten our children's safety as they thunder past..." No doubt more than a few readers of CM have been on the receiving ends of such petitions. What those protestors frequently overlook is that their local haulage depot was in existence long before a pen-pusher in the local planning office sanctioned residential development around them. Not that that logic hampers the Hyacinth Buckets of this world, and the Traffic Commissioners have regularly engaged in fruitless debates about the effect that hauliers' operations have on their neighbours. The non-refundable 0-licence application fee is at least a deterrent to time-wasters. Traffic Area Offices simply can't afford to spend time processing a application. They've got better things to do, such as finding out what mischief their local licence holders have been up to. Not that this is an easy job. As the Eastern IC says in his annual report, finding out what miscreants have been up to From the other enforcement agencies is "often like getting blood out of stone". And delays to JEDI—the Vehicle Inspectorate's Joint Enforcement Database—will hardly make the TCs' job of dealing with cowboy operators any easier. The ICs can illafford to waste time waiting to find out who's been a naughty boy in their patch, any more than they should be spending time dealing with misplaced environmental objections. In both cases the real losers are law-abiding hauliers.


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