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Foreign drivers escape action for flouting law on historic South Derbyshire causeway

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 27, 2014

By Rob Smyth

27/12/12 General View - Swarkstone Bridge, Derbyshire

27/12/12 General View - Swarkstone Bridge, Derbyshire

Comments (3)

COUNCIL bosses have outlined the issues they have cracking down on foreign drivers who flout restrictions on an historic South Derbyshire causeway.

Derbyshire County Council issued details on what jurisdiction it has over drivers from other countries after a raft of complaints flooded in over issues related to Swarkestone Bridge.

However, the authority revealed it does not have the powers to pursue the vehicles when they leave the country.

A report by the council stated: "Trading standards do not have the powers to pursue vehicles from abroad.

"Trading standards will issue warnings to drivers or operators found in breach of the restrictions – and can prosecute on any further breaches – but it was suspected that foreign operators fell outside of their jurisdiction.

"The police have the powers to issue instant fixed penalty notices – whether they have any powers in regard to foreign vehicles is a question they would need to respond to."

A spokesman for trading standards said: "I can confirm that, as any formal enforcement action we take is through the courts, we cannot take any action against operators or drivers of foreign vehicles.

"Clearly, by the time we had prepared a report and got a court date the driver and vehicle would have left the country.

"Indeed, we are unable to trace operators of foreign vehicles as there is no facility to do this – we use DVLA to trace operators of UK vehicles but there is no UK register of foreign vehicles, and we have no access to any such databases in other countries."

The issue of drivers flouting restrictions across the causeway has been a problem for several years.

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3 comments

  • From the Ether  |  August 30 2014, 7:59AM

    Overweight & over here!!

  • frustratedresident  |  August 28 2014, 9:17PM

    Something that has always confused me is all the fuss about 7.5 ton being maximum weight for vehicles crossing Swarkstone bridge but each time I go over it there always seems to be a bus crossing which weighs in excess of 12.5 tons (unladen). Now whilst I understand the need for public transport either this old bridge needs protecting or it doesn't, why is it ok for buses but others get fined?

  • elevenpoints  |  August 27 2014, 8:03PM

    We can put a man on the moon, but we can't trace a few foreign number plates?

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