I wanted to bring you up to speed on where we are with the proposed freight strategy and let you know details of the next steps.
As you are probably aware the proposed freight zone went to statutory consultation ending on the 3rd June 2021. Highlights of the consultation and survey are shown here:-
- The consultation ran from the 7th May 2021 to 03rd June 2021.
- A total of 1,103 responses were received in written form by letter, email and online survey feedback.
- 993 responses via the online survey.
- 110 responses via letter or direct email.
- Of the 993 online survey responses, 600 were in favour of the proposal.
- Many stated that the proposal would improve the environment and traffic in their villages; mainly Ivinghoe and those villages within the proposed zone.
- Some responses agreed with the proposal but believed that including the B440 within the zone proposed weight restriction zone would be a better proposal
- Of the 110 written responses received, 25 were in favour of the proposal stating improvements to quality of life.
- 32 responses were unsure on the proposals.
- 361 online survey responses were against the proposal as presented.
- Many suggested that the proposed zone would increase HGV traffic in their area.
- The majority agreed with the intention behind the proposal but, disagreed with the area proposed.
- The majority of these wanted any proposal taken forward to include the B440 within its restricted area.
- 85 from the 110 received written responses were against the proposal,
- As with the online responses many who objected to the proposal were in favour of a freight exclusion zone that included the B440 as part of the weight restriction zone.
- Those against the proposal stated that their villages have had enough HGV traffic and the roads are not suitable for any increase, especially those transporting heavy goods.
The results from the statutory consultation have been summarised in a ‘Key Decision Report’ and presented to the Cabinet Member for Transport to determine how best to move forward with the Freight Strategy for the area. The report recommends that in light of the number of objections received with counter suggestions to include the B440 in the proposals, Buckinghamshire Council should now investigate the possibility of including the route of the B440 between the A505 junction and the roundabout with the B489 in the weight restriction zone.
The Cabinet Member for Transport has accepted the report’s findings and directed that we take steps to give due consideration to the inclusion of the B440 in the freight zone.
As a result of this decision:
- The proposal will need to be redrawn and the revised version to go through the statutory consultation process.
- Any extension to the proposed weight restriction to include the B440 will need the support of Central Bedfordshire Council.
- Communications will be undertaken with Central Bedfordshire Council to ensure full visibility of any plans and consultations
- Legal permissions will have to be sort and obtained in order to effectively add the B440 to the zone
- Similar consultations will need to take place with Hertfordshire Council, with similar agreements and legal permissions obtained.
- The revised proposal will need to be readvertised, legal papers redrawn and signage reviews reappraised and any additional surveys carried out; any additional costs allocated to the project’s budget.
A similar update has already been sent to the affected Buckinghamshire Councillors and to the Wing and Ivinghoe Community Board.
I am acutely aware of the concerns of the communities affected and their desire to see the freight zone introduced at the earliest opportunity. I will continue to strive to deliver this improvement across the area as soon as possible, it is of course important we listen to our communities and do the best we can.
With kindest regards
Graham Hillary CMILT
Transport Strategy Officer (Freight)
Strategic Transport & Infrastructure
Planning, Growth & Sustainability