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BIRD'S EYE VIEW

9th May 1987, Page 39
9th May 1987
Page 39
Page 39, 9th May 1987 — BIRD'S EYE VIEW
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

BY THE HAWK

in There are many transport veterans who can fondly recall the days when an operator had to apply for his 0-licence and be vetted by a group of local hauliers. The unsuitable, unscrupulous and illegal were apparently weeded out.

Self regulation can work, but it inevitably leads to power falling into the wrong hands and to an unhealthy level of corruption. Witness the whizzkid stockbrokers of London and New York and their fellow "gentlemen" working the underwriting floors of Lloyds_ If the modern 0-licensing system is too lax, and the cowboys are able to slip with undue ease through Barbara Castle's well-intentioned quality-control net, would the industry really appreciate tougher regulations? It already gripes about being overregulated at every turn.

You will be pleased to hear the Hawk has an answer. Diversify and move into Britain's new boom industries. Convert your heaviest tippers into giant strongboxes for shipping the country's unemployment payments around and taking the giant golden handshakes moving across the City from one double-barreled pin-stripe to the next. Turn your biggest trucks into mobile homes and flog them to the Government as luxury accommodation and detention housing units — they are much in demand at present. Send your fastest vehicles down to the Channel Tunnel. There will be plenty of tunnel spoil to shift if everything goes to plan and you'll need to be quick on your feet if everything flops.

• Arthur Duckett is a man hard done by. Back in February he was fined £2,500 for operating an over-wide, over-weight ex-Russian army dump truck.

Despite approval given by the Somerset County Council, and the police the DTp issued the summonses claiming various breaches of traffic regulatons_ These included not carrying a tacho or plates — despite assurances from the local tax office that the truck is exempt from either requirement; the Russian vehicle, says the DTp, was not permitted to carry rocks and stones of the type Duckett had to haul (this incident occurred during Duckett's shifting extremely large rocks and boulders used to build sea defences at Blue Anchor in Somerset). The Avon and Somerset Police gave him written authorisation to carry the loads and to cover the size of the vehicle.

The real fun started when his load was escorted to the DTp premises in Taunton and told he could not take his vehicle away while it was loaded. Duckett did the gentlemanly thing and dropped the boulders there and then.

For this protest he was rewarded with another summons.

Duckett manages to remain compos mentis thanks to his courage and sense of humour. Fate did turn in his favour eventually. Haulage company EEC was brought in to complete the contract Duckett was no longer allowed to furl EEC's two adapted Fodens stuck on the beach and the swallowed them up — time tides wait for no stuck tippei The embarassment was real felt when it was discovered that the only rescuer in the neighbourhood with the machinery to cope with this problem was. . Arthur Duckett.


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