Dangerously overloaded vehicles have been taken off the road in Hackney as part of north London operations conducted by the Drivers and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA).

Operation Lemon was held on July 20 at new Spitalfields Market near Hackney Wick and Stratford at 4am alongside the Metropolitan Police.

DVSA intelligence had led examiners to suspect that vehicles leaving the wholesale fruit and vegetable market would be overloaded.

Examiners checked a total of 14 vehicles and found that five vehicles were overweight. Seven were taken off the road immediately due to mechanical issues including lights, tyres and steering.

Ham & High: A van found to be overweight.A van found to be overweight. (Image: DVSA)

Joint operations in Hackney and at London Gateway services in Edgeware in July saw the DVSA successfully remove 31 defective and dangerous vans.

Examiners found 14 overloaded vehicles with one over two tonnes overweight, loaded with tree stumps and tools.

Ham & High: A vehicle with a loose headlamp found during DVSA operations.A vehicle with a loose headlamp found during DVSA operations. (Image: DVSA)

The driver was also found to be driving under the influence of drugs and was arrested by the Met Police.

DVSA targeting of overloaded light goods vehicles (LGVs) has seen the issue become the most common offence for prosecution over the past five years.

Overloading compromises the stability, steering and braking capability of a vehicle. This means the vehicle will behave differently on the road, posing a danger to the driver and other road users.

In both the Hackney and Edgeware operations any vehicles taken off the road by DVSA were immobilised until the mechanical issues were fixed and any additional weight had been removed.

Ham & High: Worn brakes on a London vehicle used for transporting goods.Worn brakes on a London vehicle used for transporting goods. (Image: DVSA)

Head of enforcement delivery at DVSA Laura Great-Rex said: “Once again it is disappointing to conduct another operation which has found delivery vans that were a danger to other road users due to being overloaded and in a poor condition.

“Delivery companies and their drivers have a responsibility for making sure their vehicles are in a good roadworthy condition at the start of every journey and we accept no excuses."

Ham & High: A frayed seatbelt.A frayed seatbelt. (Image: DVSA)

Inspector Richard Wenham, Met Police Roads and Transport Policing Command, said:

“The Met’s Commercial Vehicle Unit was pleased to lend its expertise to DVSA colleagues with this operation as part of a multi-agency approach to road safety."