Wiltshire Publications

Lorry Watch scheme records first prosecution

Cllr David Jenkins and resident Kathy Scott at Station Road bridge

Cllr David Jenkins and resident Kathy Scott at Station Road bridge

Volunteers who monitor a bridge in Westbury on the look-out for lorries ignoring the weight restriction, have seen their first successful prosecution.

The volunteer-run Lorry Watch scheme in the town mirrors the already successful Lorry Watch project in Bradford on Avon, which has seen a number of successful prosecutions since it began in 2011.

The Westbury volunteers, supported by Wiltshire Council, began monitoring the 7.5-tonne limit bridge in Station Road in March after local people expressed concern that heavier vehicles were using it.

Hopkins Concrete Ltd (Somerset) was prosecuted with two offences – one contravention of the Westbury weight restriction and a contravention of the Bradford on Avon town bridge restriction.

The hearing, at Chippenham Magistrates Court on November 24th, saw the firm fined £660 for each contravention, costs of £400 and a victim surcharge of £66. Seven other firms have been fined in the last month for contraventions of the Bradford on Avon weight limit.

Keith Humphries, cabinet member for public health and protection said, “We hope this action, and other recent prosecutions, will send a very clear message to haulage companies and drivers. I’d like to personally thank the volunteers for giving up their time to support their local community.”

The scheme in Westbury was helped to be set up by councillor David Jenkins. He said, “We need the help of the local community to observe the bridge and the vehicles using it. The large and heavy vehicles are causing congestion and noise pollution, and some lorries cannot fit underneath the one bridge, which then causes further delays. There is a mandatory weight limit and local residents have become nervous when seeing these large vehicles using the bridges.

“Signposts clearly state that the weight limit is 7.5T so volunteers and local residents are needed to note details and any other information of these vehicles so that they can be recorded via a local coordinator and sent on to Wiltshire Council.”

If you would like to volunteer, on a ‘no fixed times’ rota or require further information, then contact cllr David Jenkins on 01373 823605 or e-mail  davidjenkins53@hotmail.com.

Pictured:Cllr David Jenkins and resident Kathy Scott at Station Road bridge.