Licence error forces lorries off Northampton’s roads

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Seven lorries owned by Northampton Borough Council have been operating illegally on the town’s roads because their operating licence had not been renewed.

The 7.5 tonne HGVs have been taken out of service with the housing department since the information emerged earlier this month.

And the authority is now having to pay to hire seven replacement vehicles from Wellingborough-based Longmarsh, to be used until a new licence is granted.

The council said the situation had arisen because the Department for Transport’s traffic commissioner had not told them the licence was due to expire.

The information was revealed to the Chron by an anonymous source.

Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Obelisk), cabinet member for housing, said: “On Tuesday, December 12, we received a letter from the traffic commissioner notifying the council that our goods operating licence had expired.

“This is the first we knew that it was due for renewal, and we have written to express our concern that we had not been written to sooner.

“We have already submitted an application for a new licence, and requested an interim licence that would allow us to operate our fleet while the application is being processed. In the meantime we have hired several vehicles to allow us to continue to deliver services.”

The overall cost won’t be known until the hired vehicles are returned. They are being paid for with funds from the housing revenue account.