A COUNCIL which launched a Public Space Protection Order across an industrial estate to stop lorry drivers’ antisocial behaviour once again looks set to step up enforcement action.

Proposals to refine a ban covering the Leeming Bar Industrial Estate to make it easier to issue fixed penalty notices will be considered by Hambleton District Council’s cabinet next week following the decision being postponed due to a challenge.

Residents and traders on the estate near Bedale, which features a number of the country’s leading food manufacturing firms, say they have been plagued by truckers who leave engines running, dump litter and use the area as “an open toilet”.

Numerous hauliers have claimed issues on the estate are exacerbated by a lack of parking for lorries, a national phenomenon which the district council has recognised. However, the authority says it has proof that one nearby lorry park usually has overnight spaces for lorries.

Hauliers have warned enforcement of the order will simply push drivers to park overnight elsewhere and have called on councils to make more sites available for lorry parking.

It has been proposed a revamped order, under which offenders could be fined £100 or prosecuted, will bar anyone remaining in a vehicle within the restricted area for “any period of time” between 7am and 7pm. The authority’s leading members have also been recommended to ban the depositing of human waste or litter other than into a receptacle intended for the purpose. The council said revisions to the order would make it easier to issue fixed penalty notices.

The move comes a year after the council’s cabinet approved the initial order and follows the authority restricting its enforcement to issuing education leaflets. Recent months have seen mounting calls from traders and residents for the authority to start fining truckers who use the area as an overnight car park despite the absence of facilities for them.

The decision to refine the order was delayed former councillor and campaigner Andy Strangeway said he had been left “bewildered” by the proposal as the Road Traffic Regulation Act “clearly confirms that any public notices Hambleton District Council proposes to deploy for the proposed order would be traffic signs”.

He claimed as such notices are not contained in the traffic signs regulations, they cannot be used, so a Public Space Protection Order could not be introduced.

But the cabinet report appears to dismiss Mr Strangeway’s concerns, stating the council had received further assurances from North Yorkshire County Council, as the local highway authority, the signs relating to the Public Space Protection Order could be considered public notices and not traffic signs.

The council says while significant problems continue to persist in the Thirsk Industrial Estate area it is proposed that due consideration is given to the implementation of a similar order there once the council has experience of the full enforcement phase of the Leeming Bar order.

If the cabinet approves the changes to the order, they will come into effect on March 6.