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Row over 82.5ft lorry gathering momentum

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: January 21, 2010

Dick Denby, owner of Denby Transport Ltd, with one of his super-lorries.

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Haulage boss Dick Denby says he is still waiting for an answer as to whether officials made a mistake in pulling his 82.5ft super lorry off the road.

As reported in the Echo in December, Mr Denby, 74, who owns Lincoln-based Denby Transport Ltd, was stopped in his tracks by officials over his vehicle.

The Vehicle And Operator Services Agency stopped the £100,000 Eco-link lorry's maiden voyage from the firm's yard in Doddington Road and issued the company with a 'direction notice' – prohibiting it from taking to the roads.

Mr Denby maintains his view that the vehicle is legal, claiming VOSA's prohibition was issued under the wrong part of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

"VOSA imposed a prohibition under Section 7 (1) which applies to one articulated lorry with one trailer and limits the vehicle to 16.5m (54.1ft)," Mr Denby said.

"However, we were running our vehicle under Section 7 (5) which relates to a vehicle pulling two trailers and states the maximum length is 25.9m (84.9ft).

"Ours is 25.15m (82.5ft) which means we are within the guidelines.

"The position is we are waiting for VOSA to confirm that as the lorry was run under Section 7 (5) the imposition of a prohibition was an error.

"We asked them on December 7 to confirm that and there's still no reply.

"I believe we did not break the law but I would take advice from my lawyer before running another one."

VOSA spokesman Libby Cottingham said that Mr Denby must appreciate that it would take a "very dim view" any further breach of the regulations.

She stressed this was particularly important given that he has been "clearly told by colleagues in the Department for Transport" that his vehicle cannot legally be used on the road.

For more details on the row, see Thursday's Echo.

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    Wotchit321, Mars  |  January 21 2010, 4:07PM

    Transport by rail is the cleanest, but hardly ideal for many loads. As a result more rail transport will entail higher costs for ALL products due to its inflexibility compared to road transport. This isn't a criticism, it's a fact. Your shopping isn't delivered to the store by train, is it? If we want more rail freight then we need to accept we have to pay for it and the associated infrastructure (which, incidentally, everyone says is great until in turns out a massive intermodal yard is to be built near them. At which point all hell breaks loose. Cake and eat it folks).

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    jimbo on the costa, spain  |  January 21 2010, 3:37PM

    I think you folks are missing the point here. Whatever Mr Denby says, he was 'making a statement' re his new vehicle and should have notified te authorities before taking an out-of-guage vehicle out on to the public road. It should have been adequately marked and possibly escorted by the Police. Inthe same vein, why are VOSA so reluctant to make a statement? Road Traffic Regs are not easy to understand, but VOSA are the folks to interpret them. It made a news story and Mr D got a lot of free publicity, which was obviously the object of the excercise. Ride On, man!

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    Mike, Lincoln  |  January 21 2010, 2:01PM

    Our roads not big enough? Its the same width and just a little longer, Go on youtube and have a look at how this truck actually works! Impessive stuff and we shuld all be supporting this company, Haulage firms need things like this to work so they can turn a profit, if they can move more without adding to diesel costs then this has to be good for their business, I think the response given by Libby from Vosa is terrible and they should be giving denby a decent response to their question about a different road act!!

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    Paul, Lincoln  |  January 21 2010, 1:01PM

    As somebody that travels around the UK daily the roads simply are not designed for lorries of this size, take them to France, Germany etc and use them there.

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    Will, The Shire  |  January 21 2010, 12:37PM

    Whoever "Anon" is has a good point. On motorways and dual carriageways, working between distribution centres, this truck MIGHT have a place, but it certainly extremely unsuitible for Lincolnshire roads, with their high frequency of curves and reversely proportionate distribution of anything even resembling a dual carriageway. Rail has been proven to be a more environmentally friendly method of mass transportation than a series of large lorries, and therefore the argument that this truck will have a massively positive environmental impact is null and void. If Denby's truly wishes to enter the mass transportation market, they should buy some rolling stock and paint it red.

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    Matt, Lincoln  |  January 21 2010, 10:43AM

    The stupidity and short sightedness of people like Anon amazes me...

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    anon, uk  |  January 21 2010, 9:59AM

    Presumably if the guidelines said 300ft then Mr Denby would build one to that specification. Where does it end. The fact of the matter is our roads are not big enough for this monstrosity which will be a danger to other motorists. Send it by rail.