Manchester Dairy Limited has been prosecuted by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) at Coventry Magistrates Court on the 9th of December 2020 for deliberately overloading its vans.
The company committed the offences, which they pleaded guilty to, while delivering Freshways milk. The company was using 3.5 tonne vans to deliver large amounts of milk when only a lorry was capable of safely and legally carrying the heavy cargo.
The company has been ordered to pay nearly £34,000 as a result.
The vans, which delivered milk to well-known high-street coffee shops and other retail outlets, were used to circumvent the operator licencing rules which regulate the use of commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. The vehicles even had modified suspension to disguise the illegal weight they were hauling.
One van was found to be 5530kgs, which was more than two tonnes over the legal limit for the three and a half tonne van.
Between February and March 2020, the DVSA found 14 Manchester Dairy vans in London and South Wales which were significantly overloaded, and even found one in a dangerous mechanical condition.
The vans were found following an intelligence and targeting operation run by DVSA, which shares information on dangerous goods vehicles between its enforcement teams around the country.
DVSA’s Director of Enforcement, Marian Kitson said
“DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.
“Businesses must not cut corners by using a van where a lorry is required. DVSA will ensure it pays to be compliant, and will take strong action against those who use illegal, unfair and dangerous ways to compete with hardworking businesses.
“This fine reflects the seriousness of the systemic and intentional offending which was a risk to road safety.”