Friday, 27 November 2020

Lorry count suggested to tackle congestion

LORRIES passing through the centre of Goring could be counted in a bid to reduce congestion.

LORRIES passing through the centre of Goring could be counted in a bid to reduce congestion.

The parish council wants to conduct a survey to find out how many heavy goods vehicles have a legitimate reason for driving along High Street.

The village centre is currently out of bounds for vehicles over 7.5 tonnes unless they are making deliveries.

However, the council believes some HGV drivers use the village bridge as a shortcut across the Thames instead of crossing at Caversham or Reading.

Councillors have asked Oxfordshire County Council to take action but it won’t without a survey to prove tougher enforcement or a lower weight limit is needed.

This is because legitimate deliveries also cause congestion by parking at the roadside so tighter waiting restrictions might be better.

At present, lorries may stop in High Street at any time except from 7am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm. The ban could be extended to between 7am and 6pm.

The county council cannot afford to carry out the survey so the parish council hopes to recruit volunteers.

At a meeting on Monday, parish councillor David Brooker said: “If we find many HGVs aren’t stopping, the county could look into more restrictions or enforcement of the existing ones.”

Council chairman Kevin Bulmer said: “At the moment many drivers are misunderstanding the rules. They say they need to access the village but they mean they want to pass through it.”

Cllr Brooker said action was also needed to force drivers to observe the give way restrictions at the passing place in High Street.

Because it is almost two cars wide, drivers without the right of way often push through and mount the pavement, damaging kerbs and  putting pedestrians at risk.

The county council is considering adding a “build-out” which would make this impossible. It might also install a speed hump near The Arcade.

It says bollards can’t be installed on the pavement as it would become unacceptably narrow.

Cllr Brooker said: “As I was driving through today, a 4x4 coming towards me just bounced up on the footpath and carried on.”

Councillor Matthew Brown said: “The other day I stopped to wait for someone who had right of way. The driver behind me just overtook and carried on.

“Perhaps the road markings aren’t strong enough. I’m not sure I support building over perfectly good tarmac.”

Cllr Bulmer said: “Traffic numbers in Goring have gone up astronomically and we can’t allow this problem to continue forever — we must do something.

“Hopefully the county council can propose measures we’ll be happy with.”

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