Herald Launches Ban HGVs Petition to Support Campaign

The Henley Herald is supporting the work by resident Amanda Chumas to get Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) to introduce a Traffic Restriction Order in Henley to reduce the number of HGVs coming into the town and have started an online petition.

Last week we published an article highlighting the terrible affect the HGVs are having on our town which not only includes the obvious like air pollution but also the increase in noise, damage to listed buildings and dangers to pedestrians when the lorries mount the pavements to get round our narrow streets.

To help with the campaign, Amanda and the Herald urge you to sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/oxfordshire-county-council-traffic-regulation-order-to-ban-hgvs-in-henley

Resident, Clive Hemsley has copied us in on a letter he has written to County Councillor, Stefan Gawrysiak and MP John Howell (below):

Hello both

Amanda should be given your full support not only for her idea but clearly her legal mind can deal with this serious matter – only Amanda must get all the support from both town (Henley Town Council HTC), South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) and Oxfordshire County Council (OCC).

I completely agree with Amanda’s comments and add:

  1. There is ample evidence to conclude banning HGVs using the grade 1 bridge and other streets as a shortcut.
  2. I’ve spoken to Stefan for many years about this problem and explained that technology is already here so legitimate lorries can carry transponders etc. so genuine vehicles no matter how big can use our bridge.  Other towns use this system.
  3. As you both know I got into a lot of trouble (even personal threats) because I went and put temporary LED lighting on the bridge. Alas I lost two rounds with SODC and Wokingham DC but OCC (who own the bridge) did recommend it. I know this is not totally relevant but the damage to the bridge is caused by 1, boats hitting it 2, lorries shaking it to bits. And believe me there is considerable damage to the bridge having commissioned a full survey on the bridge last year.
  4. I can confirm with Amanda living in Longlands House on  Hart Street that the noise level has gone up 10 fold over the last 10 years and pollution test monitors placed outside my house confirmed we were 4 x times over the EUC limit/recommendations.  Yes literally 4x times and the same would apply to Bell Street and Duke Street.
  5. The living wall on the east side of the house I put up 2 years ago is fighting the pollution. I replaced 20% of the plants last weekend simply because of the dried up plant leaves fighting the atmosphere – any botanist would confirm this.
  6. Stefan it took 2.5 years to get the HTC to finally agree with the concept of LEDs on the bridge – something that simple the HTC took forever – How can the HTC give Amanda continued  support?
  7. I like Amanda could give you hundreds of photographic samples of traffic violations with these monster trucks.


  1. Pat Knights says:

    Just want to add my support to Amanda Chumas in her work to introduce a traffic restriction order for Henley. As a resident of Fairmile, these vehicles hit us first, speeding past at all hours of the day and night. We were delighted when the new speed limit was introduced recently but sadly Very few drivers take any notice of that.
    I would be happy to sign a petition in favour of the restriction. Good luck Amanda, I’m sure you will have everyone’s support. Even if the HGVs don’t actually drive past their doors, think of our poor bridge and the damage being inflicted.

    • Amanda Chumas says:

      To Pat and Everyone else who has signed the petition already:

      Thank you so much for your interest and support. Please spread the word about this petition. We really do need to get more signatures to prove to Oxfordshire County Council that this issue is of real importance and concern to residents of our town!

      I understand that, on social media, some concern has been expressed that the introduction of a 7.5 ton Weight Limit might interfere with enterprise in our town and some people have raised queries as to whether HGVs are in fact using the town as a cut through.

      In answer, I’d like to stress that those HGVs with a genuine reason to be in Henley or, a reasonable radius of it, for delivery or collection, will continue to have access via a permit scheme.

      I want to see Henley thrive, so I am trying to stop the HGVs that have no business to be in Henley, from continuing to cut through it, because their presence makes the environment within our town so unpleasant and dangerous. If this growing problem is left unchecked we will soon reach the stage where neither residents nor visitors wish to be in centre of our town, and where will our shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars be then?

      The objective is to ban the ever increasing number of HGVs (which are frequently as big 20 and 40 ton trucks) from using our town as a “rat run” in order to cut down their on journey times. Apart from the obvious “give aways” such as foreign number plates and signage suggesting that they belong to enterprises located in distant places, it is evident from observing the number that come down from the Fairmile, drive through Bell St, New Street, Thameside, and then turn left over the bridge to go up White Hill, that their objective is to get to the M404/ M4. These HGVs should be required to stay on the Strategic Road Network ( M4, M404, M40 and A34) which was designed and built to take them. They should not be allowed to leave the SRN to invade Oxfordshire’s towns or villages, except for the express purpose of delivery or collection in the locality.

      Finally, I’d like to express my grateful thanks to Stefan Gawrysiak for his help and support of the campaign thus far. He will be critical to its success going forward.


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