Campaign to Restrict HGVs Could be Stalled

Fears about Henley’s chances of getting a weight limit to prevent its use by HGVs as a through traffic corridor have been raised by two recent events:

First, on 14 December OCC Councillors unanimously passed a motion put up by Goring Councillor, Kevin Bulmer “to implement an agreed Cross County wide network of HGV routes”. He was also recorded on BBC Oxford TV Local News, which aired the night before, saying, “previous notions which just say “I don’t want them (HGVs) in Henley or I don’t want them in wherever, is nimbyism: whereas I’m saying let’s look at it as a whole and decide where the best routes are for these lorries.”

Second, last week OCC Councillors revoked Burford’s Temporary Traffic Restriction Order (TTRO) which for the last 18 months had given them respite from through HGVs.  This was done despite the fact that in the Current Local Transport Plan 2015 to 2031 “Connecting Oxfordshire” para17 it states that OCC “will consider environmental weight restrictions across the County, particularly in areas which are subject to significant levels of HGV traffic, prioritising the towns of Burford, Chipping Norton and Henley-on-Thames.”

Burford was the first town to apply for TTRO which was funded by £130,000 of mostly private money raised locally. Burford was seen as the pioneer paving the way for Henley’s application. Consequently Burford’s loss is seen as a grave blow to Henley’s chances of getting its own Weight Limit to stop long distance HGVs using it as a river crossing.

Just before the last County Council elections in 2021, Henley’s Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak’s proposed a motion which agreed that OCC would complete the necessary studies for an environmental weight restriction for Henley in the event that funding to cover the whole cost is secured through development and/or by local communities, businesses and town/parish councils and would not fall on OCC. After that motion was passed by OCC Stefan declared, “It is a major milestone in our campaign to limit through HGVs. I want to stop HGVs using Henley as a rat run, I want to keep them on the Strategic Highway Network. ANY HGV legitimately delivering to Henley will still be allowed in. So supply to Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsburys will be allowed BUT ASDA lorries who do not need to come through Henley will be stopped. I want this ban to protect our natural assets and limit the effects on young, old, Mums, Dads and children. In doing this we will make Henley an even better place to live.”

However, since then, Stefan has been waiting for draft paperwork from OCC Highways outlining the proposal for the environmental study.  He gave an update at the Town Council’s Transport Strategy Committee Meeting in December and confirmed that a meeting of the HTC Transport Strategy Committee would take place on 24 January 2022 and would be devoted to the matter of HGVs.


  1. Jill Adams says:

    I, as many of my neighbours and friends living in Henley, feel that these huge HGV lorries should not take a short cut through
    Henley but keep on the motorways to reach their destination. I cannot understand why some of these lorries have no
    markings on them surely this is important? The chaos they cause at times coming down New Street and crossing
    over Henley Bridge and also lorries coming over the bridge turning left – unbelievable! I cannot believe that it is that
    difficult to make the law that HGV lorries must not come through Henley, only the lorries such as Waitrose, Tesco
    Sainsbury and other shops needing deliveries should be allowed.
    Jill Adams

    • Eddie stobart says:

      I’m sure all of the extra miles these lorry’s will have to cover just to bypass precious henley will be great for the environment

  2. Chris Wagstaff says:

    So what about local businesses that have HGVs ? Are people suggesting that a lorry that is based say in Badgemore would have to drive to Oxford to get to London? Hardly a particularly Green suggestion…

  3. william turner says:

    I agree to many lorrys in henley using as a short cut we already got higher pollution than an industrial town in Germany.

    Also local person who was told to move from henley due to high pollution levels.

    Also noiticed to many people driving gas guzzling four by fours, however welldone to those who havew taken to electric four by four vechles we need more of this

    Waitrose already using cleaner vechles and tesco does use rail to transport some products helping the environment.

    However Arriva buses are still using very polluting busses with horrible emision smells as a german owned dbahn company u would expect more could we not adrdess this issue

    many thanks all


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