§ Mr. Butcher
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will institute a licensing regime to legitimise street vendors of cold drinks, flowers, newspapers and other items for(a) 400 yd of the Westway to the east and west of its junction with Old Oak Common lane and (b) at other selected junctions on the, A40 Westway.
§ Mr. Norris
This question raises an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. John Butcher, dated 17 October 1994:The Minister for Railways and Roads, Mr. John Watts, has asked me to reply to your question about instituting a licensing regime to legitimise street vendors on the A40 Westway at the junction with Old Oak Common Lane and other selected junctions.The Highways Agency as the responsible highway authority for trunk roads such as the A40 does not have the powers to institute a licensing regime. These rest with the local authorities in London who have powers under section 24(1) of the London Local Authorities Act 1990 to designate a street as a licence street where vendors may apply for street trading licences. However the local authority must obtain the consent of my Agency before designating any part of a trunk road or issuing an individual licence under section 25(5) of the 1990 Act.My Agency would not normally consider giving consent for the types of trading activities described which take place on the carriageway of the A40 to the east of Old Oak Common Lane, or at other locations because these unlicenced street vendors can be a distraction and potential safety hazard to motorists. They also might encourage motorists to park in unsafe positions on the trunk road whilst purchasing their products.We monitor all such situations and where problems are identified we ask the Metropolitan Police to take action to have street traders removed and the local authorities to use their powers under section 34 of the 1990 Act to prosecute them.