There are mixed messages and frustration at Denby Transport, after the company's chairman, Dick Denby, took his 25.1m-long (82ft) LHV onto public roads on 1 December 2009, only to be served with a prohibition notice by the police.
Denby has spent the past five years campaigning for the right to run the lorry, and has now asked for the notice to be expunged, as he was operating within the constraints of the Construction & Use regulations (1986) point 7(5), relating to vehicles with two trailers over 25.9m. However, the authorities took him to task based on regulation 7(1), which permits trucks with only one trailer to be limited to 16.5m-in length. Originally being handled by VOSA, Denby says that the organisation was not able to contact him regarding his action, because the matter was being dealt with by the Department for Transport (DfT), from whom, Denby says he has also heard nothing. He has since sent a reminder, asking for some action. In response, DfT says that the matter is now in the hands of the traffic commissioner, who will be dealing direct with Denby Transport. Despite the setback, Denby remains positive: "I'm an eternal optimist, so I still think I will be able to get the lorry on the road. But I don't know when." Policy director of the FTA James Hookham has also waded into the matter, defending his association's positive stance: "Dick Denby sought advice from us, and we agreed that the law is unclear, and comes down to a badly written clause that could be, and obviously has been, interpreted in different ways. It is a big issue in the industry, but the DfT took the decision in isolation and the FTA was never given the opportunity to look at options in a bid to overcome the issues." Meanwhile IVECO which, together with the FTA, asked the government to consider road trials of 18m-long artics, has also heard nothing from the DfT regarding this matter. A spokesman for the company says that while there are indications of a positive result, which would bring the UK in line with other European countries including Italy, IVECO is still waiting on the results of a desk study into the matter.

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