R v London Boroughs Transport Committee, ex parte Freight Transport Association Ltd

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date31 July 1990
Date31 July 1990
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)

Court of Appeal

Before Lord Justice Neill, Lord Justice Staughton and Sir Roger Ormrod

London Borough Transport Committee, Ex parte Freight Transport Association Ltd and Others

Local authority - licensing conditions - goods vehicles - silencers

Silencer condition beyond licensing powers

The London Boroughs Transport Committee (LBTC) was not entitled to impose a condition that goods vehicles weighing over 16.5 tonnes should have a specified type of silencer fitted to their air brakes if they were to be considered for a permit allowing them to be driven in specified streets in Greater London during prescribed hours.

The Court of Appeal so held in a reserved judgment dismissing an appeal by the LBTC against the decision of the Queen's Bench Divisional Court in judicial review proceedings to quash the LBTC decision to impose that condition (The Times November 17, 1989; (1990) 1 CMLR 229).

The applicants for judicial review had been Freight Transport Association Ltd (FTA), Road Haulage Association Ltd, Reed Transport Ltd, Wincanton Distribution Services Ltd, Conco Ltd, Cox Plant Hire London Ltd and Mayhew Ltd.

Mr Richard Mawrey, QC and Mr Roger Eastman for the appellant; Mr Anthony Lester, QC and Mr Mark Shaw for the respondents.

LORD JUSTICE NEILL said that in December 1985 the Greater London Council made the Greater London (Restriction of Goods Vehicles) Traffic Order 1985 in the exercise of powers conferred by section 6 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

The order imposed a general prohibition on the driving of goods vehicles exceeding 16.5 tonnes maximum gross weight in any restricted street during prescribed hours at night time and weekends.

The order further provided that the general prohibition should not apply in relation to any goods vehicle in respect of which a permit had been issued by the GLC provided that any conditions subject to which the permit was issued were complied with.

Following the abolition of the GLC, responsibility for administering the lorry ban passed to 22 of the 33 London boroughs which formed the LBTC to administer the ban and permit scheme.

The LBTC approved a document entitled "Conditions normally considered for attachment to a permit", the eleventh of which was that applicants should minimise the noise emitted by the air brake system by fitting silencing equipment, or its equivalent, manufactured by one of three named manufacturers.

It was against that condition which the Divisional Court...

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