Buckinghamshire County Council has launched a four year action plan to look in detail at ways to solve lorry hotspot problems and better manage freight around Buckinghamshire’s roads.
On Tuesday 19th June 2018 the County Council’s new freight strategy was approved by Mark Shaw, Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member.
At the centre of the action plan are proposals to set up freight focus groups in the County Council’s 19 Local Area Forum areas, drawn from parishes, community groups and businesses.
One of the priorities is to appoint a Freight Officer to liaise between parishes, districts, businesses and County Hall and manage focus groups. They will examine heavy goods vehicle (HGV) movement data, along with original strategy consultation feedback from more than 1,600 residents and businesses, to help identify areas that need targeted action and investment.
This could include measures ranging from HGV route signs to installing noise and air quality measures, to liaising with neighbouring councils over HGV bans that affect Buckinghamshire.
The first three focus groups will be set up during the coming weeks in the Wing/Ivinghoe area, the Iver/Denham area and the Haddenham/Waddesdon area. Others will be set up during the following nine months.
Deputy Transport Cabinet Member Paul Irwin, who is overseeing the Action Plan, said it was vital the work that groups do help the County Council to strike a balance between getting goods and services around the county efficiently, and the impact on roads and the environment.
Around 17% of lorries coming into Buckinghamshire deliver foodstuffs and about 14% of HGV movements are related to taking away waste from residents and businesses in the county.
The increase in online shopping (up 23% in the past year) has pushed up the number of delivery van miles by 46% in the past 10 years and this trend is expected to continue.
Paul said: ‘It’s a fine balance. We rely on lorries to bring in our food and drink, and take away the waste we produce. But we also have a responsibility to control the impact HGVs have on our roads and the environment.
When it comes to freight management nothing stands still. We’re kidding ourselves if we think there’s a fix-it-once-for-all solution, which is why our freight strategy is a live document.
We want focus groups to highlight local issues to help us consider the trends and the changing nature of HGV movements, so we can take the right decisions in the future to balance the need for the efficient distribution of goods and services with the needs of Buckinghamshire’s environment and residents.
A huge number of residents and business people have helped get Buckinghamshire’s Freight Strategy to where it is now, and I’m very grateful for their help.’