HGVs running into hot water on rural roads
According to the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, truck drivers ignoring weight restrictions on minor roads are causing chaos in rural communities.
Local authorities in Wales and London have been given powers to use against lorry drivers who break the law, the LGA said, but it now wants the same powers that Transport for London (TfL) has, enabling councils to impose fines.
One glaring problem in enforcing transgressions on rural roads is a matter of resources; rural roads, for example, are not covered by CCTV cameras in the same way that London is. In defence of the truck driver, it must be said that not all contraventions are deliberate. Where signage is either poor or absent, drivers following their Sat Navs may well end up on unsuitable roads.
But technology, i.e. routing and scheduling software and telematics, can solve that problem. Today’s technology not only gives transport managers visibility and greater control of their fleets, it also gives them the tools to ensure that planned routes are legal, as opposed to leaving it completely up to the driver.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has refuted the LGA’s claim, saying that most drivers do adhere to the regulations and that many HGVs are not transiting through villages but are making legitimate deliveries to local businesses or residents.
“FTA fully supports enforcement of weight and width restrictions and actively helps its members to adhere to these with regular updates on regulations and industry innovations,” said Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of Urban Logistics, adding that the logistics industry is working hard to reduce the problem of HGVs using inappropriate routes, such as HGV-specific Sat Navs that are now on the market.
Perhaps the solution lies, not in policing by resource-stretched authorities, but in greater self-regulation by the transport and logistics industry to improve their practices and comply with local laws and regulations. Many logistics operators are already leading the way by employing smarter mapping technology that automatically plans and monitors safe and legal routing and, with wider adoption, the industry can solve the problem itself.
If you would like to find out more about using routing and scheduling software to improve the accuracy and feasibility of your plans, why not get in touch. One of our experienced team will be happy to help.