Few people like heavy lorries passing their homes – but they have to go somewhere if the wheels of commerce are not to grind to a halt. In one case that highlighted the issue, the High Court ruled on a dispute between two local authorities in respect of lorry movements to and from a development site.
Council A had granted planning permission for the development, including 10,000 square metres of commercial space, on a site that was close to its border with the administrative area of council B. It was intended that heavy goods vehicles serving the site would use a stretch of road running through council B’s territory.
In response to a petition from local residents, however, council B issued a traffic order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 that restricted the weight of lorries using the road to 7.5 tonnes. In mounting a judicial review challenge to that order, council A argued that lorries would have to be diverted onto a less suitable route, past a school, causing risk of injury and environmental damage.
In dismissing council A’s complaints, however, the Court found that council B had met the requirements of the Local Authorities’ Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996. Council A had been properly consulted before the order was made; its views were fully expressed and taken into account, and there was nothing irrational or otherwise flawed in council B’s decision.