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Lorry Watch scheme data discredited by council

  • 05 August 2013
  • By Chris Tindall

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has cast doubt on data gathered by Lorry Watch volunteers in Kent after the council admitted more than half of the LGVs reported were not breaking a weight restriction.

The pilot scheme in Leeds and Langley was launched in November 2012 and sought to prevent lorries over 18-tonnes from using the B2163 Leeds Road.

Kent Council said that by January 2013 186 vehicle reports had been received from local volunteers who had been briefed about sizes of goods vehicles.

However, 54% (100) were two-axle vehicles and were therefore not breaching the limit.

A mid-trial report also revealed that 26% (48) were foreign-registered lorries but the council said the police were unable to contact their employers.

“Over half of those vehicles reported were not breaking the weight restriction,” the report said. “Although the volunteers have been provided with printed material to identify the size and weights of vehicles their perception is that these vehicles are too large for the road.”   

Natalie Chapman, FTA head of policy for the south east, said it did not support the scheme, but neither was it anti-Lorry Watch and it had urged the council to explain to residents that many reported vehicles were making legitimate deliveries.

“I think that some residents are perhaps under the false impression that by putting in a Lorry Watch scheme they won’t see any more lorries and that’s not the case,” she said.

“This confirms what I said at the beginning; it all comes down to the quality of the data and those gathering this data don’t understand the difference between different sizes of lorry,” she added.


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