Oxfordshire County Council are conducting a survey on their new draft local transport and communications policy LTCP5 (see https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/ltcp) Opinions on this should be sent in by the 16 March. If you cannot face doing the survey (which is very “tick box” in style but does permit you to express your thoughts in the general “any other comments” boxes, then OCC have asked for views by email to:
(and please cc firstname.lastname@example.org)
or in letter by post to:
c/o Joe Kay, Strategic Transport Lead Infrastructure Strategy Team, Environment and Place, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND
Under the current local transport policy LTPC4 (which was supposed to last from 2015 to 2031), it was expressly stated that Henley was not suitable for heavy through traffic and that the town should be considered for an environmental weight limit, provided the procedure could be funded other than by OCC. (see para 17 page 7 https://mycouncil.oxfordshire.gov.uk/documents/s33708/Background%20CA_JUN2816R10%20Conn
The new draft LTCP5 no longer favours weight limits but instead is proposing securing voluntary agreement with the haulage industry to use recommended HGV routes and where these are is yet to be determined.
We have therefore been told that our chances of getting a weight limit have receded if not disappeared and we doubt that the alternative regime – when introduced in 5 years time or more, will help Henley at all. At present, the huge HGVs, which use Henley as a time-saving traffic corridor, do so because they are legally entitled to do so and their sat navs suggest they cut through here, however inappropriate this may be.
Unless it becomes illegal for them to use the town as a river crossing and cut through, because a weight limit is introduced, we believe that they will still do so, if they think it will save journey time. Furthermore, the route planning software that they use will continue to offer routing through Henley as an available option.
Anyone who cares about Henley should be very concerned about this new policy on the grounds of (please copy and paste this list into your email):
- pedestrian safety,
- air pollution,
- vibration damage to our town’s listed buildings,
- The destruction of the amenity and character of Henley.
- The old bridge is under threat from 44-tonne trucks.
- The existing Oxfordshire Freight Quality Partnership Lorry Map https://www2.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/sites/default/files/folders/documents/roadsandtransport/) indicated that heavy through traffic should not use Henley, has been ignored completely – so why should the new regime work.
The more people write into express their concerns and show the strength of local feeling the better. Otherwise, OCC highways department will not take on board our concerns.
Understandably freight traffic is projected to continue to increase substantially in future, in order to meet society’s needs and the DoT are on the point of authorising the use of trucks which are even 4M longer and 4 tonnes heavier that the 44Tonne monsters we see mounting our pavements as they negotiate our narrow winding roads through the heart of town.
So things will only get worse, unless a legal prohibition can be won. We all want goods and services delivery in a timely fashion – no one is denying this need, nor respect for the drivers who drive these huge vehicles, but the plain fact is that these huge vehicles are just too big and dangerous to negotiate for our small town safely. Therefore, they should be forced to use the strategic road network (A404, M40 M4 and A34) instead.
Thank you for your support.
The Campaign For a Weight Limit for Henley to Stop HGV is using the Town as a Traffic Corridor