UK and EEC noise rules take precedence over local lorry controls

At a time of growing interest in the environmental implications of the single European market and 1992 (ENDS Report 178, pp 18-22), the Divisional Court has held that a local authority's power to restrain traffic may not be used to impose vehicle noise emission standards which conflict with EEC legislation on the subject. The decision in R v London Boroughs Transport Committee (LBTC) ex parte Freight Transport Association Ltd and Others (Daily Telegraph Law Reports, 30 November 1989) raises important general issues concerning overlapping jurisdictions in environmental protection.

In January 1986 the Greater London Council (GLC) used powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act to introduce a ban on lorries over 16.5 tons entering the capital between certain hours, unless they had an exemption permit. The GLC was abolished two months later, and the issuing of permits was initially taken over by the London Residuary Body, but later by the LBTC, acting on behalf of 22 London boroughs still fully operating the ban.

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