31 Aug 2016.
For immediate release.

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ABD condemns BANES Council for barmy 6ft width limit
The ABD has condemned Bath & North East Somerset Council for an absurd 6ft width limit imposed on Lansdown Lane in Bath.
The council has imposed a number of safety measures on the road following an accident in February 2015 in which a four year old girl, Mitzi Steady, was killed whilst being led across a pedestrian crossing by her grandmother; along with 3 men from South Wales (Stephen Vaughan, Philip Allen, and Robert Parker) who were in a taxi.

The accident involved a Scania HGV carrying gravel.

In January 2016, the 19 year old driver of the HGV (Phillip Potter) was charged with causing their deaths by dangerous driving. He had only had an HGV licence for 4 days 1. His manager (who was driving in convoy with him) was also charged with two counts of 'aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring to cause death by dangerous driving', and two similar counts related to the serious injuries caused. Their trial is expected to start in November. 2

Winston Churchill once said:
“If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.”

The council have imposed a 6 foot width limit on the road. This makes no sense whatsoever to any rational person, given that many common cars are wider than 6 feet, and it was clearly the weight of the truck that was the significant factor in the accident. It seems that the council simply plucked a 'nice round figure' out of thin air with no due consideration whatsoever. 6 feet is 1829mm.

The 6ft limit means that a family car such as a Ford Mondeo (1852mm) is banned, but a sports car such as an Mazda MX5 (1735mm) is not. Imposing such barmy restrictions on family cars is simply detached from reality, and indicates sheer incompetence by the council. 3

Police are reported to have been issuing fixed penalty notices on drivers using the road. 4

The fact that the accident related to an HGV, appears to have been completely ignored by the council in their desire to be seen to 'do something'. The notion of doing something relevant does not appear to have occurred to them.

ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
“Imposing restrictions that bear no relation to the problem, upon members of the public who were not in any way involved, undermines respect for the law; which in the long term is detrimental to road safety.”

The ABD calls for the 6ft width limit to be scrapped immediately, and replaced by a ban on HGVs (except for access).

Longer term, the council need to consider providing a new road to provide access to Bath from the north west, that avoids Lansdown Lane completely. It is nothing more than a country lane that has been tinkered with over decades.

 
 
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 
1. Daily Mirror — Teenage truck driver only had HGV licence for FOUR days before fatal crash
2. Western Morning News — Two men face court over tragic tipper truck crash in Bath
3. Automobile Dimensions
    Other cars over 6ft wide: 4. Bath Chronicle — Bath drivers ignoring restrictions on Lansdown Lane
 
 
Notes for Editors about the ABD
 
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