QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE PITCHFORD
|LONDON BOROUGH OF RICHMOND||(CLAIMANT)|
|EXPRESS LIMITED (T/A EXPRESS DAIRIES DISTRIBUTION)||(DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MRS F CARTER appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
Crown Copyright ©
Tuesday, 6th May 2003
"No person shall drive or cause to permit to be driven any goods vehicle exceeding 16.5 tonnes maximum gross weight in any restricted street during the prescribed hours, including between 9 pm and midnight Monday to Friday".
"The applicant and the driver of the vehicle shall ensure that, during the controlled period, if it be essential that the vehicle uses roads in the Permit Area, the vehicle minimises the use of restricted roads. To this end, the applicant and driver of the vehicle shall ensure that the vehicle:
(a) does not leave excluded roads until as near as practicable to the planned stopping place in the Permit Area; and
(b) takes the shortest practicable route from a planned stopping place either to the nearest excluded road or to the next planned stopping place if this results in the vehicle being driven a shorter distance in total on restricted roads".
"This would lead to additional pollution, noise and congestion on already busy roads, which the London Borough Transport Scheme was trying to avoid. We were of the opinion that Mr Edwards took the shortest "practicable" route to his next planned stopping place, minimising the use of restricted roads".
"Condition 5 was not contravened if compliance would in the circumstances be unreasonable as where a vehicle would have to make a substantial diversion in order to avoid a short length of restricted street thereby inflicting pollution by noise and vibration over a wider area".
"Such diversions are undoubtedly costly to the Post Office which runs its vehicles to a timetable, but in my judgment it is not open to a court to consider whether in particular circumstances it would in effect be reasonable to condone a contravention of the terms of the condition".
"These subparagraphs [that is condition 5, subparagraphs (a) and (b)] make plain, as the respondents submitted, that it is 'essential' for a vehicle to use a restricted road in the Permit Area only if it has to reach a planned stopping place in that area that cannot be reached solely by the use of excluded roads. The subparagraphs also make plain that minimal use is to be secured by the controls 'practicable' and 'shortest practicable'. These controls raise questions of fact which I am sure justices can resolve in a common sense way without over precise measurement in marginal cases".
"Whether it is permissible for the court to take into account facts other than the pure measurement of distances when considering the words 'practicable' or 'shortest practicable' in subparagraph 6 of condition 5".
"When one looks at that Act and at the order made under it, it would not be and should not be a matter of surprise if the permits granted are being framed in such a way as to attempt to restrict to the minimum the passage of heavy goods vehicles through the streets of London at certain times. When one then turns to the construction of the conditions themselves, it seems to me that there are firm pointers in that direction".
"The word 'practicable' simply contemplates that one route may be physically more appropriate than another for a heavy goods vehicle and that the word 'practicable accordingly' simply qualifies the shortest so far as physical attributes are concerned".