Wednesday, 18 October 2017

More lorries coming due to bridge closure

TRAFFIC problems in Henley could get worse due to the closure of Marlow Bridge.

TRAFFIC problems in Henley could get worse due to the closure of Marlow Bridge.

Town councillor Will Hamilton has warned that heavy goods lorries may be rerouted to Henley while the bridge is shut for maintenance work until next Wednesday.

He told a meeting of the committee: “With Marlow out of action, all the traffic could come into Henley.”

Councillor Hamilton, who lives in Greys Road, said there should be a sign at the roundabout on the A404 at Burchetts Green telling lorry drivers to use the Marlow bypass.

But Chris Hulme, a Thames Valley police traffic management officer, said this wouldn’t work. “As soon as you put the caveat on the sign ‘except for access’ it is like an open ticket to abuse the limit,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Martin Akehurst suggested putting a weight restriction on Henley Bridge to deter HGVs. But town and county councillor David Nimmo Smith responded: “Tanks went over the bridge during the war — it can take the weight.”

Mr Hulme said a weight limit couldn’t be put on the bridge as the A4130 is an A-road.

Keith Stenning, the county council’s area steward, said: “A lot of these vehicles do need to come in to service your shops as they add to the economy. You do need these vehicles coming through.”

Councillor Akehurst said that pollution levels in Henley were some of the worst in South Oxfordshire. Mr Hulme replied: “Chipping Norton has a massive pollution problem but for Henley, what is the alternative route?”

Councillor Joan Bland said it was “ridiculous” that New Street, where she owns Asquiths teddy bear shop, was classified as an A-road and said there would be a street party to celebrate it closing for sewer repairs in September.

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