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  • VCMs, Ve-Tech Concrete, 22 June 2023

I want to speak on behalf of Ve-Tech Concrete Limited, which is a company in my constituency that operate volumetric mobile concrete plants,

VCMs as they have been described and as it has already been covered by the honourable gentleman for Orkney and Shetland. There are lots of different reasons why there are advantages to these. He’s already highlighted the fact that they can deliver concrete over distances

in rural areas that are more than two hours away from a concrete mixing plant.

So that’s just an absolute if you’re further away. A drum concrete mixer simply can’t serve you. So these can cover parts of the UK that others can’t. They can also wait until the concrete is required. So when utilities need to make repairs even in the middle of the night or a repair takes longer, the VCM can wait until the concrete is required.

They can deliver multiple small loads of different strengths of concrete to different consumers. And that is often farmers who need a small amount to make an adjustment around the farm. So in rural communities like mine in Central Ayrshire where farming is covers most of my constituency, the VCMs are vital.

I would agree with the honourable gentleman who’s just spoken, whose constituency I can’t remember. It’s hard to understand what the 2018 decision was about. If it is about damage to roads, etc, then there are other heavier vehicles that are being allowed on the road. If it’s about what they carry, and this suggestion that they shouldn’t carry more goods than a goods vehicle, then there is a failure to understand that actually they are plant.

They mix the concrete and therefore they have all the equipment involved in mixing the concrete as it’s required. And what they also have is pumping equipment so that they don’t need a separate lorry to turn up to work with a drum mixer, to actually pump the concrete into the place that it’s required.

And I heard, I read in the briefing that actually because of access issues, it’s a VCM that Westminster is using for some of the repairs to the estate. So it’s really about time that we heard a slightly updated approach to these. So why was the decision made? It’s hard to understand it if it’s on the basis of road damage when there are heavier vehicles. It’s certainly hard to understand it if it’s about climate. When it’s clear, VCMs reduce journeys, increase flexibility, and actually are keeping other trucks off the road. So I too hope that maybe there’s a change of mind in the Department for Transport and maybe the minister will give us some hope and indeed the companies in our constituencies or serving our constituencies right across the UK.

About the author 

Heather Knox

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