|Buckinghamshire Council has announced plans to move ahead with the implementation of the Ivinghoe area ‘freight zone’, after some delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. |
The scheme, to reduce HGV traffic in the Cheddington, Ivinghoe and Mentmore areas, sits within defined boundaries, east of the A418, north of the A41 and west of the B489. Work to draft the necessary Traffic Regulation Orders needed for the zone is now scheduled to start in mid February 2021, when formal public consultation will take place. Subject to the feedback received, the scheme could be fully operational by spring 2021.
Essential works to strengthen the Brownlow bridge on the B488 have already started and these are expected to be completed by the end of November.
Public engagement on the concept of the freight zone took place last March and was widely supported by local residents, businesses and community groups. It included dialogue with parish councils, local councillors, and businesses, along with drop-in exhibition events in Ivinghoe and Wing and a survey which received 332 responses.
Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Transport Nick Naylor said he was delighted to announce the news. “I’d like to have got on with things quicker, however COVID-19 restrictions have affected our planning with council officers and resources redeployed to help support the vulnerable and those at highest risk.
“But now I’m delighted we’re back on track and that the Ivinghoe area is set for its freight zone. Once drafted, the TROs will be subject to statutory public consultation so people can have their say on all the detail before final implementation. We also need to liaise with colleagues in Hertfordshire and Central Bedfordshire Councils as some of the signage will need to be sited in their areas,” he added.
The Orders will include a 7.5 tonne weight restriction on vehicles travelling through the zone. There will be an exception for vehicles travelling to destinations within the zone, which means deliveries and collections for local homes and businesses can continue unaffected.
Monitoring in November 2019 showed an average of 254 HGVs per week passed through the proposed zone, heading for destinations further afield, around 47% of the total HGV traffic in the area.
Local ward councillor and Wing and Ivinghoe Community Board Chairman Anne Wight added, “This is great news. The ‘freight zone’ would give us that balance between allowing those HGVs that need to come to the area and discouraging those that just pass through. Potentially this scheme could see lorry movements reduced by close to 50%, considerably reducing the negative impacts on local residents, buildings and the environment.”
For further information about the freight zone, please visit: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/transport-plans-and-policies/freight-strategy/ivinghoe-area-freight-engagement/