HC Deb 30 November 1987 vol 123 cc596-7
8. Mr. Jim Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many weighbridges are sited at United Kingdom ports.

Mr. Channon

The Department has provided slow-speed axle weighers at 11 of the major roll-on/roll-off ferry ports.

Mr. Marshall

I am grateful to the Minister for that useful information, but is he aware that many lorries entering the United Kingdom through ports are overloaded, and can he give a guarantee that, with the introduction of cabotage in 1992, the situation will not get substantially worse?

Mr. Channon

This year we expect to weigh about 8,800 foreign lorries, which is over 50 per cent. more than last year. I accept the need to step up the level of weighing. If cabotage is to come in—I do not go quite as far as the hon. Member—I am determined to ensure that the rules are fair to the British as well as to everybody else.

Mr. Ward

Is my right hon. Friend aware that ports such as Poole, which operate weighing apparatus, are at a commercial disadvantage compared with those that do not have weighing apparatus because there is a tendency for drivers who know that they are overweight to avoid such ports? Is not the solution to have compulsory weighing of every vehicle entering the United Kingdom through a port?

Mr. Channon

We certainly must move to weigh more lorries, to have better enforcement procedures and to provide more weighbridges. I understand the feelings of my hon. Friend's constituents about the disadvantage at which their port may be put when compared with others. We shall attempt to have more weighbridges than we have now.

Back to