Breaches of M4 weight restrictions to be tackled

10/08/2012

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency is to step up its enforcement activity between junctions 1 and 3 of the M4 after reports of several incidences of vehicles flouting the 7.5 tonne weight restriction in place for the Boston Viaduct.

The restrictions were put in place following the discovery of cracks during a planned, routine investigation of the structure in March.

In May repair work started which resulted with temporary full-closure of the section ahead of the start of the Olympic Games.

Head of policy for London at the Freight Transport Association, Natalie Chapman, said,

“The restriction is there for a very good reason, and while we hope the repairs will be completed as quickly as possible we urge operators to make sure their drivers are aware of the restrictions.”

Natalie Chapman also believes that the issue is being followed by the UK’s traffic commissioners. This could mean that operators whose drivers fail to respect the restrictions could face more severe punishment than simply a roadside fine.

At present, there is still no completion date for repairs to the affected sections of the M4, which has seen a special consideration granted for Olympic coaches.

A spokesperson for the Highways Agency said,

“The ongoing work continues, and for that reason the weight restriction is in force. The work we have been doing is exceptionally delicate and complex, the nature of it means we cannot be precise about when it will be completed. We will however lift the restriction as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Lead TC for Olympic and Paralympic delivery, Sarah Bell, said,

“I am pleased that the vast majority of freight operators are heeding the 7.5t weight restriction in place on the M4 viaduct. It is disappointing that a few are not, presenting a poor impression of the industry. I have asked the HA and Vosa to report direct to my office any operators and drivers that appear to be disregarding the clear signs.”

A spokeswoman from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency added,

“From the weekend a number of vehicles have not adhered to the weight restriction. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency is currently working closely with the Met Police and the Highways Agency to identify and take action against road users who do not comply. This action includes the issuing of fixed penalties for vehicles not complying with the weight restriction and reporting repeat offenders to the TC.”

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