A business owner along the Hammonds Plains Road in Halifax says increased enforcement of a truck route bylaw could force him to shut down.
Brian Murray operates a firewood service out of Blue Barn Farms. It’s been in Hammonds Plains for more than 140 years.
Murray says the firewood keeps the farm in the black. Most of his customers live in the St. Margaret's Bay area, so for deliveries he heads directly to Highway 103.
'It would cost about $6,000 in additional truck repairs, $4,000 more in labour and $4,000 in fuel.' - Brian Murray
But this week the RCMP told him that's not allowed. Instead, he must take a 45-minute detour in the opposite direction. The detour would affect two-thirds of his business.
"It adds 47 kilometres on to the trip. If we were just going here, up the road, it would be about seven kilometres,” he said.
“It would cost about $6,000 in additional truck repairs, $4,000 more in labour and $4,000 in fuel.”
He said the expenses could shut him down totally. Other area businesses are being adversely affected, he said.
Councillor vows to help
Councillor Matt Whitman said that’s not what the truck route bylaw is supposed to do.
“The truck bylaw is supposed to stop trucks from Burnside and other places from cutting through Hammonds Plains, not to penalize the good businesses that are located in Hammonds Plains and have been there for decades,” he said.
Whitman and Murray think local businesses should get stickers for their trucks so they won't be fined for travelling along Hammonds Plains Road.
HRM traffic officials aren't convinced.
Regional council can change the truck route bylaw, so Whitman said he will try to get a majority of his colleagues on side.