Farm site cleared for fleet additions for PI Macdonald & Son

An operator that attracted objections from local residents after applying to increase the number of vehicles it runs has been given the green light by the traffic commissioner (TC), with conditions.

TC Nick Denton said the environmental intrusion caused by Stafford-based PI Macdonald & Son operating five HGVs and two trailers, compared to its present two lorries and one trailer, was “likely to be small and within the bounds of acceptability”. However, restrictions have been placed on operating hours and maintenance work.

The company applied to increase its vehicle authorisation at its Ellenhall Farm operating centre, but the TC received representations against the increase from residents living nearby.

In a written decision, the TC said he was satisfied the operator’s premises were a sufficient distance from residents to be relatively small and unlikely to cause real interference.

However, he added that the farm site was unlikely to be suitable for many more vehicles and that if the site were in constant or frequent use there would be road safety implications.”

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Drivers warned of ro-ro hazards

Hauliers are being urged to highlight to their drivers the dangers of remaining in their cabs on ro-ro decks while at sea.

The warning from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) comes as it continues to investigate an incident on board the P&O ro-ro passenger ferry European Causeway last December.

The vessel was sailing from Larne, Northern Ireland, to Cairnryan, Scotland, in heavy weather when freight vehicles shifted and toppled over.

The MAIB found that at least six drivers had remained in their truck cabs during the crossing despite being told by the ship’s crew to vacate the ro-ro deck after they had parked their vehicles.

Four drivers were found in the freight vehicles that had toppled over, with one trapped until he could be freed by the emergency services in Cairnryan. No-one was hurt in the incident.

The MAIB said drivers remaining on deck pose a danger to themselves and can cause delays to the emergency response, particularly in the event of a fire. The investigation has recommended the RHA distributes a safety bulletin to its members and encourages them to take robust action and assure driver safety by helping ferry operators eliminate the problem.

A full report will be published when the investigation is complete. (Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/ PA Images)

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