Join our Lorry Watch Scheme

2011.04.06 lorry watch signVolunteers are needed to support our Lorry Watch Scheme.

Suffolk County Council’s Trading Standards department operates a ‘Lorry watch’ scheme to help those parishes that feel local HGV Weight restriction Traffic Orders are being abused and are being overlooked by enforcement agencies.

Weight Restriction Orders are intended to protect old or weak bridges and structures, but they also can prohibit heavy vehicles from areas unsuitable for their size, for environmental reasons or if they pose a danger (e.g. narrow village roads).

Trading Standards is one of the agencies given the task of enforcing these weight restriction orders. Part of the county-wide remit of Suffolk Trading Standards is to carry out Road Traffic enforcement; this includes ensuring that weight restrictions are adhered to.

Lorry Watch is an initiative set up in Suffolk, which empowers residents to prevent goods vehicles from breaching weight restrictions in their community, by reporting potential illegal access via a set up system. This system will be explained to interested parties and training for Observers and Co-ordinators will have to take place.

Lorry Watch is intended to prevent environmental damage to some of Suffolk’s most sensitive settlements and to empower residents to help prevent damage to their communities themselves.

How does it work?

  • Local trained observers note details of vehicles that may be misusing a route.
  • Details are then handed to the parish or town co-ordinator for administration and checking.
  • Co-ordinator will then sends this information to Suffolk Trading Standards
  • Suffolk Trading Standards will then obtain the correct weight of a vehicle to ensure no identification mistakes have been made.
  • Details of the registered keeper will be obtained and a letter will be sent to them to establish the details of the driver. The driver will then be sent a letter.
  • Suffolk Trading Standards will then make a decision as to what action is necessary

How much does it cost to join?

Nothing, membership is free, we supply all the paperwork.

Who can be an observer?

Anyone that is over 18 can be an observer.

How long are observers expected to send at the roadside?

It is up to the individual, you could spot a lorry while walking the dog or going to the local shop. The observers aren’t expected to spend hours sat at the roadside, Observations are frequently made from within the home.

What training do observers get?

Observers will receive around an hours training, to help you understand the difference in types of Heavy Commercial vehicles

How to get involved?

Contact Peter Canfer at Suffolk Trading Standards on 01473 264859 or e mail

We have Lorry Watch Schemes in the following areas:

  • Bungay
  • Claydon & Whitton
  • Coddenham
  • Great Waldingfield, Sudbury
  • Hadleigh
  • Holton
  • Sproughton

If you live within these areas and would like to help do not hesitate to contact Suffolk Trading Standards for assistance and the name of your local Co-ordinator.

Trading Standards is brought to you by the letter L . . .

Historically, we were known as Suffolk Weights and Measures Department because our primary function was to maintain the integrity of commercial weighing and measuring by routine testing of equipment and goods.

We now deal with more diverse issues under a wide variety of Acts, Orders and Codes of Practice, as set out by central government, the Food Standards Agency and the Office of Fair Trading.

How diverse are we? Well, for 26 (working) days, we’ll be showing you!

L is for . . .

rulerLength Measure – The earliest assessment of weight was simply the load which a person could carry. Measures of length, and thus area, were also assessed in relation to the body – the foot, a hand or a pace. Accurate measurement was only required by rulers who would weigh the treasures in the Royal strong room, whilst for ordinary people trade continued by barter.

In England various systems of weights have come and gone. Different systems were used in different areas and in different trades. By Tudor times no fewer than six different measures of the pound weight were in use, according to what was to be weighed and in which industry.

In the field of length measurement there were similar variations. In the Thirteenth Century four different measures of the foot were in use in England and Wales, according to the area where they were used and whether they were used for building or land measurement.

Over the following centuries a slow process of standardisation followed with Monarchs and Parliament passing statues with the aim of producing conformity and accuracy. Standard weights and length measures were produced and maintained to provide accurate standards against which copies could be assessed.

In the 1790s in France the Metric system was introduced both for weighing and measuring. This system, based on natural constants, was adopted by 18 countries in 1875. In 1897 the Metric system became legal for trade use in Great Britain.

If your business involves weighing and measuring when you provide goods or services to your customers, then ensuring weights and measures equipment is accurate is a major factor in the quality of the service you provide.

Officers check the accuracy of traders’ weighing and measuring equipment, ensuring goods sold by weight or measure are the right quantity. Trading standards enforce regulations to ensure that goods sold in the borough are of the correct weight, length or volume.

fireworkLicensing – We are responsible for licensing or registering businesses to store fireworks (and certain other explosives), non-medicinal poisons and petroleum.

We also license the operation of animal feedstuff manufacturers, and performing animals.

All business premises in Suffolk that store large amounts of explosives must be licenced by Trading Standards.

A large amount is between 250kg and 2000kg net weight. Even larger quantities need a licence from the Health and Safety Executive. Explosives include fireworks, gun ammunition and black powder.

Trading Standards officers inspect sites to ensure explosives are stored safely to prevent fire or explosion.

Sellers of poisons must either be a retail pharmacist or a person who has his name on Suffolk County Council’s list of those entitled to sell poisons.

Each listed seller is required to keep a poisons book in which certain information relating to each sale of a poison must be entered before a sale is completed.

Trading standards officers inspect business premises selling poisons to ensure they are:

  • On Suffolk County Council’s list;
  • That only approved poisons are sold and;
  • That these are stored and recorded correctly.

We need to licence petroleum spirit to make sure those keeping and dispensing petroleum do so in a safe manner that is unlikely to cause risk to the public or environment. For licensing purposes ‘petroleum’ is any product of crude petroleum which has a flashpoint below 21 degrees centigrade. It includes petrol, benzene and pentane but does not include white spirit, paraffin, diesel oil or fuel oils.

Feed hygiene regulations apply to all businesses that make, use or supply animal feed

These regulations require primary producers, in many cases for the first time to control potential food hazards at every stage of production. This includes livestock or arable farmers (where animals or food crops are intended for human consumption).

If you exhibit, use or train performing animals, you must be registered with Suffolk County Council.

lorryLorry Watch – Lorry Watch is an initiative set up in Suffolk, that we ‘re currently trialling in several villages and which empowers residents to prevent goods vehicles from breaching weight restrictions in their community.

The ‘Lorry Watch’ pilot scheme is intended to prevent environmental damage to some of Suffolk’s most delicate settlements and to empower residents to stop damage to their communities themselves.

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