asked the Minister of Transport what standards are in force on the axle weight of trucks in the United Kingdom, West Germany and France; what steps have been taken to enforce such standards in the United Kingdom; and how many contraventions of United Kingdom standards have resulted in prosecutions in 1977, 1978 and 1979.
The maximum single axle weights generally applicable are 10·16 tonnes in the United Kingdom, 10·0 tonnes in West Germany and 13·0 tonnes in France. These weights are permitted only if additional requirements on axle spacing, braking, and other safety aspects are satisfied.Regular checks on the weight of lorries are carried out by my Department's traffic examiners. Vehicles found to be overloaded are liable to be prohibited until the overload has been removed. The numbers of successful prosecutions initiated by my Department for axle over-loading in 1977, 1978 and 1979 (up to November) were 716, 872 and 823 respectively.Weight enforcement checks are also carried out by trading standard enforcement officers of local authorities, but the number of successful prosecutions by them is not available.