Mobile traders – special conditions

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Mobile Traders (Sandwich Round & Ice Cream Van) – Special Conditions

  1. Street trading consents may be granted to traders who wish to operate Mobile Sandwich Rounds or Ice Cream Vans selling food and/or drinks in consent streets within the Borough of Reading (traders will not be permitted to operate within the Inner Distribution Road area).
  2. These special conditions and the standard street trading conditions will form part of the street trading consent.  Furthermore, these conditions shall apply for the duration of the street trading consent. The Council, however reserves the right to vary both the special and the standard conditions of the consent as required.
  3. The consent holder or any assistant shall move their trading vehicle from area to area within the Borough, remaining stationary for no more than 10 minutes to initially attract customers and thereafter only long enough to service customers present. Additional permission shall be required from the Council, if the consent holder intends to trade in the roads and areas around the Reading Festival event, or during any other similar outdoor events that are held within the Borough.
  4. The trading vehicle shall be based on a commercial type vehicle, professionally modified and fitted out for operating a food business for delivering pre-cooked food (saloon type vehicles shall not be permitted). The vehicle shall not be fitted with any equipment to prepare or cook fresh takeaway type food (burgers/hot dogs/bacon or similar) such as hot plates, grills and any similar equipment apart from hot drinks. Microwave ovens for heating pre-cooked food are permitted. The vehicle shall be inspected by a Reading Borough Council Licensing Officer prior to a consent being issued and will be regularly checked by Officers’ during the duration and at renewal of the consent.
  5. If the trading vehicle is replaced, the consent holder shall notify the Council in writing before the changeover takes place. The replacement vehicle shall be inspected as detailed in condition (4) and the consent will be amended.
  6. The consent holder or any assistant shall ensure that heat generating equipment fuelled by gas is not operational, and the gas supply to such equipment shall be switched off at source during any vehicle movements.
  7. If the trading vehicle is fitted with musical chimes to attract customers, the consent holder or any assistant shall follow the relevant code of practice (currently: Code of Practice on Noise from Ice-Cream Van Chimes Etc. in England 2013) in regard to sound levels/length of time of playing. No other sound producing device shall be used.
  8. The consent holder or any assistant shall not stop their vehicle and trade within 50 metres of any school grounds for less than an hour before the start of the school day, until an hour after the end of the school day.
  9. The consent holder or any assistant are not permitted to stop their vehicle and trade within 50 metres of any static street traders.
  10. The consent holder or any assistant shall not operate their trade Monday to Sunday between the hours of 21.00 – 06.00 hours.
  11. A readily identifiable trading name shall be conspicuously displayed on both sides of the trading vehicle. No other third party advertising shall be allowed.
  12. A mobile phone number in addition to a landline contact number shall be provided to the Council on application.
  13. A list of trading addresses/route details shall be provided to the Council as part of application process for guidance purposes.

Further to the above Special Conditions Reading Borough Council would like to bring to the attention of the vendor to following guidelines in relation to the legislation and sections of the ‘Control of Pollution Act 1974 (CoPA)’. For which Reading Borough Council have also added these further Special Conditions to this consent.

Code of Practice on Noise from Ice-Cream Van Chimes Etc. in England 2013 written by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs

This code of practice was developed with the involvement of mobile food vendors, particularly the ice-cream vendor industry. Approval was given for this code by the Control of Noise (Code of Practice on Noise from Ice-Cream Van Chimes Etc.) (England) Order 2013 (SI 2013 No. 2036) made under section 71 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 (as amended) by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This code of practice came into operation on 1 October 2013 in England.

DEFRA therefore produced guidelines in line with the relevant legislation to ensure that the vendor used methods of minimising annoyance or disturbance caused by the operation of loudspeakers fixed to ice-cream vans used to convey and sell perishable commodities for human consumption to the public.

It is an offence under section 62 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 (CoPA) to use a loudspeaker in the street. There is a specific exception for the operation of loudspeakers fixed to vehicles used to convey and sell perishable commodities for human consumption to the public, such as ice-cream, provided that they do not give reasonable cause for annoyance to persons in the vicinity. Under section 71 of CoPA the Secretary of State has the power to approve codes of practice that help to minimise noise. This code gives guidance on minimising noise from ice-cream van chimes. It should also be taken as applying equally to any other sounds made by a loudspeaker fixed to a vehicle from which perishable goods are sold to the public. Compliance with this code will help to show that a vendor has complied with section 62 of CoPA.

Noise that is prejudicial to health or a nuisance that is emitted from or caused by a vehicle, machinery or equipment in the street is a statutory nuisance under section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA). Under Part 3 of the EPA, action can be taken by local authorities and private individuals to require a business that is responsible for a statutory nuisance to abate that nuisance. A business that applies the ‘best practicable means’ to prevent or counteract the effects of the nuisance will have a defence against such action.

Under section 79 of the EPA, a code of practice made under section 71 of CoPA must be taken into account when determining whether the best practicable means have been applied. Compliance with this code will help to show that a vendor has used best practicable means to prevent, or counteract, the effects of any nuisance resulting from the chiming.

Under section 79(1)(ga) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 noise that is prejudicial to health or a nuisance that is emitted from or caused by a vehicle, machinery or equipment in the street is a statutory nuisance.  Under Part 3 of the EPA, action can be taken by local authorities and private individuals to require a business that is responsible for a statutory nuisance to abate that nuisance.

No chimes should be operated which produce a noise level in any direction of more than LAmax 80dB.1 When operating in areas where houses are particularly close to the road, such as in narrow streets or when stationary, it may be necessary to reduce the volume of the chimes below LAmax 80dB to avoid disturbance.

Under section 62 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 (CoPA) it is an offence to operate or permit the operation of any loudspeaker of the ‘ice-cream van chimes’ type in a street unless conditions 1 to 4 below in Annex A are complied with. Reading Borough Council have also added further conditions 14-28 which are relevant and proportionate to allow the vendor to show due diligence in complying with any relevant legislation/guidance for the operation of ‘chimes’ on an ice cream van.

Annex A:

14. The loudspeaker is operated only between the hours of 12.00 noon and 7.00 pm on the same day.

15. The loudspeaker is fixed to a vehicle which is being used for the conveyance of a perishable commodity for human consumption.

16. The loudspeaker is operated solely for informing members of the public (otherwise than by means of words) that the commodity is on sale from the vehicle.

17. The loudspeaker is so operated as not to give reasonable cause for annoyance to persons in the vicinity.

18. No chimes should be operated which produce a noise level in any direction of more than LAmax 80dB.

19. Care should also be taken to avoid distortion of the chimes, which may occur if the volume is too high, or if the equipment is faulty or the component parts of the equipment are not correctly matched.

20. When, for the purposes of these conditions, the level of noise emitted by the chimes is being measured in accordance with the measurement method described in footnote 1, the restrictions on the use of the chimes recommended in conditions 21 to 25 below would not apply.

21. The passage of music played should not last more than 12 seconds. A mechanism which contains a timed cut-out device which can automatically limit the playing time to 12 seconds or less should be fitted to the vehicle within 2 months of the consent being granted and should be checked by an officer of Reading Borough Council.

22. The chimes should be played once only on the approach to each stopping place (or ‘selling point’), only once when the van is stationary, and never at intervals of less than 2 minutes. 

23. The chimes should not be played more often than once every 2 hours in a particular length of street (A ‘particular length of street’ should normally be interpreted as being a length of street up to 500 metres long).

24. The chimes should not be played when in sight of another van (whether moving or stationary) which might reasonably be taken to be in the street for trading purposes.

25. Subject to those considerations, the chimes should be played only as often as is necessary to let customers know that the commodity is on sale from the vehicle.

26. When the vehicle is operating in areas where houses are particularly close to the road, such as in narrow streets or when stationary, it will be necessary to reduce the volume of the chimes below LAmax 80dB to avoid disturbance.

27. The chimes should not be played in areas where people may be especially sensitive to their sound. In particular they should not be played: 

a. Within 50 metres of any hospital or similar institution; 

b. Within 500 metres of a school during school hours; 

c. Within 50 metres of a place of worship on a Sunday or other recognised day of worship.

28. Owners should ensure that these conditions are displayed in all vehicles fitted with a loudspeaker of the ‘ice-cream van chimes’ type, and that it is brought to the attention of all persons concerned with the operation of the chimes.

Footnote 1:

At 7.5 metres over a 12-second period of continuous chiming. Noise measurements should be undertaken with a meter which conforms to BS EN 61672-1:2003 Electroacoustics. Sound level meters. Specifications (Class 1) set to the A-frequency weighting and the F-time weighting. The microphone should be held at a height of 1.2 metres above the ground, and at a distance of 7.5 metres from the loudspeaker. The microphone should be fitted with a windshield and the meter should be calibrated periodically and checked prior to (and after) measurement by a calibrator conforming to BS EN 60942:2003 Electroacoustics Sound calibrators.

Footnote 2:

A business that applies the ‘best practicable means’ to prevent or counteract the effects of the nuisance will have a defence against such action. Under section 79 of the EPA, a code of practice made under section 71 of CoPA – like this one – must be taken into account when determining whether the best practicable means have been applied.