Tuesday, 02 March 2021

Weight limit could be placed on bridge to deter HGVs

A WEIGHT limit could be placed on Henley Bridge to prevent heavy goods vehicles using the town as a short cut.

The idea was proposed by Henley Town Council four years ago but Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, said nothing could be done until a similar scheme had been introduced in Burford, which had been waiting years.

Now an 18-month trial scheme is set to begin there so Henley’s request can be considered. Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak told a meeting of the council’s transport strategy group: “They have appointed an officer to come to Henley and look at the limit.”

If a weight limit was introduced, signs would be put up around the town and on entrance roads at a cost of about £30,000.

Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said: “Anyone who has a legitimate business in Henley would still be able to deliver on big lorries, it’s really there to discourage through-lorries.” Councillor Will Hamilton said: “I’m in favour of a weight restriction but we should let the officers tell us what the restriction should be. Anything we can do to deflect traffic on to the Marlow bypass, we should do.”

He said that the weight limit on Sonning and Marlow bridge had meant more big vehicles used Henley Bridge to cross the Thames.

Councillor Ian Reissmann said the limit should apply to the town centre rather than the bridge. He said: “We requested this in 2014 and were told we couldn’t have one because the bridge is too strong.

“We should say we want a town centre ban on HGVs on environmental grounds.”

Robert Palmer, of Vicarage Road, Henley, said a 7.5-tonne lomit would mean firms such as builders merchants Gibbs & Dandy and Jewsons would use several lorries instead of one big one for deliveries. “It’s not going to help pollution,” he added.

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