§ Mr. Clifford Forsythe
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the current availability of heavy commercial vehicle inspection stations in the light of the provisions in the Road Traffic Transport and Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1984 exempting such vehicles from the requirement to undergo a weight test if, when stopped, they are further than five miles from the nearest inspection station; and what are the implications for the enforcement of maximum legal weight for this class of vehicle.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
Article 206 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 empowers a constable or a person authorised by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland to require a vehicle to be weighed and for that purpose to proceed to a weighbridge. If the point at which the requirement is made is more than five miles from the weighbridge, and the vehicle on being weighed is found to be within the limits authorised, the Department is liable for loss occasioned.
To meet the requirements of this provision the Department operates weighbridges sited at key traffic points throughout the Province whilst a number are available on an agency basis.