Residents' tip offs lead to fines for lorry drivers
Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team thanked the people who came forward with the information that helped them to bring successful prosecutions against the lorry drivers and promised to investigate all reports from the public.
Trading Standards Operations Manager Jody Kerman said: ”Weight restrictions are there for very good reasons, either to protect bridges that have become structurally weakened, or because the use of particular roads by heavy goods vehicles is not suitable.
“Many of these weight restrictions have been in place for some time now, and we ensure that they are clearly signposted, with alternative routes being available to drivers.
“The vast majority of drivers understand why these restrictions are in place and respect them, planning their routes accordingly. However, for those who don’t, we work closely with members of the local community to ensure our enforcement action is proportionate.”
Five defendants pleaded guilty by post, one did not respond and was found guilty in their absence. The court gave the following fines:
Richard Brandon Burgess, age 49, Wednesbury, West Midlands (44 tonne, in contravention of the 7.5 tonne limit at Sutton Courtney) Date of the offence: 29/06/2015
£30 Victim Surcharge
Barry Blake, age 57, Barton-on-Humber, North Lincolnshire (44 tonne, in contravention of the 7.5 tonne weak bridge limit at Charlbury) Date of the offence: 29/06/2015
£31 Victim Surcharge
John David Watson, age 45, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex (44 tonne, in contravention of the 7.5 tonne limit at Watlington) Date of the offence: 08/07/2015
£44 Victim Surcharge
Geoffrey Stevens, age 54, Whitchurch, Hampshire (44 tonne, in contravention of the 18 tonne weak bridge limit at Newbridge) Date of the offence: 29/06/2015
£24 Victim Surcharge
Michael Munro, age 56, Ormskirk, Lancashire (44 tonne, in contravention of the 7.5 tonne limit at Enstone) Date of the offence: 13/07/2015
£30 Victim Surcharge
Stephen Disley-Jones, age 59, Parbold, Lancashire (44 tonne, in contravention of the 7.5 tonne limit at Launton) Date of the offence: 14/07/2015
£28 Victim Surcharge
Jody added: “These offences were spread across the county. Enstone, Sutton Courtney, Launton and Watlington are known as environmental weight restrictions. They cover a number of roads in an area and are there to avoid danger to people or other traffic, to ensure good flow of traffic and to improve the amenities of an area.
“The Charlbury and Newbridge weight limit is there to protect a ‘weak bridge’, where structural surveys have shown the bridge to be in need of protection from heavy vehicles
“Newbridge is a Grade II listed structure and a Scheduled Ancient Monument
We conduct pro-active checks at a number of locations across the county, and investigate all public reports received
“Public reports are best made via our website, where there is also guidance on what to look out for, and the information to obtain at the time.
“A number of other weight restriction breaches are currently under active investigation by our officers (approx. 50)”