Head of OCC Travel & Development Strategy Visits Henley to See HGV Problem First-hand

Henley’s County Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak and resident Amanda Chumas met with Oxfordshire County Councillor, Duncan Enright, Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy recently at the junction of Bell Street and New Street to witness the number of large HGVs coming through Henley.

Stefan and Amanda have been campaigning for a weight limit to restrict large HGVs coming through Henley who are not delivering in the area.

Oxfordshire County Council’s new draft Local Transport & Connectivity Plan no longer favours weight limits but instead is proposing to secure voluntary agreement with the haulage industry to use recommended HGV routes and where these are is yet to be determined.  The public consultation on this has just closed in March.

Stefan said, “We thank Duncan for coming to see for himself the issues for himself. These are large lorries mounting the pavements, causing danger to pedestrians on narrow Henley streets, the impact on houses and roads due to the vibration and the pollution impact on Henley. We toured the whole of the centre of Henley and Duncan saw the problems. This resulted in him saying, “I saw enough whopping lorries to see for myself the problem.”

OCC officers have told Stefan they are now working on an area strategy for Henley which will include an enforceable weight limit strategy for Henley. Stefan added, “Our aim has always been to keep the monster trucks on the strategic highway network and not use Henley as a short cut. Legitimate lorries delivering to Henley is absolutely OK.”

Cllr Gawrysiak has already written to OCC to establish a timeline for this report and its implementation.

Amanda said, “It was good to explain our concerns and the reasons why Henley has become a traffic corridor for a good number of HGVs to Duncan. The Campaign are still monitoring and collecting photographs of large HGVs in Henley, which are demonstrably unsuitable to be using the town. Please can you keep your smart phones at the ready and capture any snapshots you think worthwhile. Please send along with details of the location date and time to the Campaign’s official email henleyhgvwatch@gmail.com

Cllr Gawrysiak is also talking to OCC Officers about the resurfacing work of New Street and the installation of bollards on the corner of New Street and Bell Street to protect pedestrians more.  He is also looking at the installation of another particulates monitor at the same location.