A LORRY driver and his employer are counting the cost after an overloaded vehicle was stopped while travelling through County Durham.

William Arthur Monkhouse, of Cunningham Court, Sedgefield, and Eltel UK Limited have been fined and ordered to pay costs totalling more than £1,100 following the incident in January this year.

Monkhouse was driving a Ford Transit flatback when he was stopped at Wellfield weighbridge by officers from Durham County Council.

The vehicle, which was carrying a mini digger and building materials, was found to be overloaded on its rear axle.

Its gross and train weights were above the legal limit.

Monkhouse was working for Eltel UK Limited at the time and was travelling from the company’s yard in Swainby, North Yorkshire, to Peterlee.

The 49-year-old said he was not aware of the weight limits for the vehicle he was driving.

However, Eltel UK Limited stated that Monkhouse had received training on how to load the vehicle.

Monkhouse was fined £264 and ordered to pay £285 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge by Newton Aycliffe magistrates.

Eltel UK Limited, of Blackhorse Lane, Swainby, Northallerton, was fined £532 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £53.

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of community protection, said: “Overloaded vehicles can cause a hazard to their driver and other road users. For example, increased weight can impact on braking distances."