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New ice cream van rules get frosty reception in East Lancashire
4:53pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
THE Government has changed the guidelines for ice cream vans for the first time in more than 30 years.
The length of time they can sound chimes has been extended from bursts of four seconds to 12 seconds.
And vans will be able to sound jingles every two minutes, rather than every four.
Officials said the relaxation of rules was part of David Cameron’s ‘red tape challenge’ to ease regulatory burdens on businesses, but local traders today seemed nonplussed.
Catherine Elliot, of Ripplehead Ices based in Blackburn, said: “I don’t think anyone will want to chime for 12 seconds and it doesn’t seem fair on residents.
“Also, you can’t travel to the next street within two minutes of parking up and serving customers, so being able to sound every two minutes seems illogical.”
New guidelines also have measures designed to relieve tension between competing sellers, a problem which occurred in Lancashire when a Mr Yummy driver, armed with a wheel wrench, smashed the window of a Mr Whippy seller in Blackburn.
Guidelines advise against chiming ‘when in sight of another van’, a suggestion Catherine welcomed: “If our vans drive on to a street and see another ice cream van, then it makes sense to politely drive away,” she said.
“I agree there is a problem with tensions between businesses but I don’t think this will solve anything.
“Councils give licences very readily these days and a lot of sellers see territory as a big part of their job.”
Donna Townson, of Frederick’s Ices, in Chorley, said: “We understand ice cream chimes can be noise nuisance to some and 12 seconds does seem a long time.
“I think vendors will self-govern how long they play jingles and I doubt any of our sellers will chime that long.”
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