I’ve had a few queries from residents about lorries and vans parking in residential streets so I thought it would be useful to share the latest rules and guidance.

Only vehicles over 7.5t need an operator’s licence (‘o’ licence), and these operators will have certain restrictions placed on them regarding operating centres. Anything under 7.5t does not need an ‘o’ licence to carry out business operations but will be governed by the normal rules of the road so that enforcement can be carried out by the Police should they obstruct residential access or traffic.

A vehicle requiring an ‘o’ licence can park in a residential street if it is not causing an obstruction, parked on the pavement or blocking driveways. It can also park on a residential street if it is not a regular occurrence. A regular occurrence might be construed by the Traffic Commissioner as being used as an operating centre, which would not be allowed, but this would be for the Traffic Commissioner to determine and not the Local Highway Authority.

Recovery vehicles do not need an operating licence as long as they are only used for recovery and not for hauling non break down vehicles. There are no restrictions to their parking, but they must still comply with the traffic laws, so as not to cause an obstruction or block access.

If they are breakdown vans, such as AA-type vans (if below 2.5t), then they can park anywhere, with no controls imposed by the Commissioner nor the need for a licence.

The above rules relating to vehicles parked on an adopted publicly maintained highway only. I am unable to offer any advice should it be the case that these vehicles are parked on a private driveway or private land, as this is outside of our jurisdiction.
For information, the following can be found on the GOV.UK website with regards to enforcement by the DVSA of operator licences:

Your licence could be taken away, suspended or restricted by the Traffic Commissioner if you:

  • Break any of the terms or conditions of your licence
  • Do not meet health and safety conditions
  • Are convicted of certain offences
  • Are made bankrupt or (if the licence holder is a company) that company goes into liquidation, administration or receivership
  • Use a place not listed on the licence as an operating centre
  • Are given a prohibition notice by DVSA following an inspection

The Traffic Commissioner may decide to call you to a public inquiry to consider if any action against your licence is necessary.

In conclusion, as the Local Highway Authority, we (Lincolnshire County Council) do not have the power to move these vehicles on. If it is believed that they are breaking operator licence laws, assuming they have a licence, then the Traffic Commissioners should be contacted via the Government website.