Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Call to protect village from lorries

Call to protect village from lorries

A SPEED limit of 30mph and a 7.5-tonne weight restriction could be imposed across the Hambleden valley.

Highways officers at Buckinghamshire Council will be asked to consider the measures to stop lorries driving through Fawley.

Mark Turner, who chairs the village’s annual meeting and represents the Chiltern Villages ward on the council, says HGV drivers take a short cut whenever Marlow Road is shut between Henley and Mill End.

Traffic is officially diverted up White Hill in Remenham and along the A4130 before crossing the River Thames and returning along the A4155 via Marlow, adding 14 miles to people’s journeys.

But many sat-nav devices direct motorists up Icehouse Lane, along the main road through Fawley and back along Benhams Lane, a loop of just over three miles. Councillor Turner says this route is unsuitable for HGVs because it has two steep hills and the road narrows to a single track in places.

If two lorries travelling in opposite directions meet, they damage bollards, manholes and grass verges as they squeeze past each other.

Additionally, the national 60mph limit applies so diverted traffic typically travels at that speed despite several bends and blind spots.

There have been several near-misses with vulnerable road users, including one in which a horse was spooked and fell backwards.

Cllr Turner said there had been several complaints so he would raise the matter with the council’s South West Chilterns community board, which has a transport committee.

He said: “Sat-navs only see a 60mph road without understanding the difficulty some drivers could experience. Any time the main road closes, you’re guaranteed to see lots of traffic passing through and it’s a nightmare.

“Additionally, delivery drivers are often tracked remotely and expected to drive as close to the limit as possible, so they have an incentive to speed.

“We attract huge numbers of cyclists and have three horse yards so people take their lives in their hands on the roads.

“We need a 30mph limit because motorists aren’t currently breaking the law by going much faster, apart from maybe driving carelessly.”

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