Saturday, 19 June 2021

‘Use cameras to trap rat-run lorry drivers’

AN automatic number plate recognition system should be introduced in Watlington, says the town’s representative on South Oxfordshire District Council.

Anna Badcock wants to crackdown on lorry drivers using the town as a “rat run” to and from the M40.

She has long supported stricter enforcement of the town’s 7.5 tonne weight restriction.

Watlington is already a designated air quality management area.

Councillor Badcock told a meeting of Watlington Parish Council on Tuesday that the technology was needed even with the expected creation of a bypass around the town, as outlined in its  neighbourhood plan.

She said: “I personally will strongly argue for ANPR systems coming in.

“My fear is that you would have issues of lorries coming through the centre of Watlington regardless of whether you have a relief road unless you have some way of preventing them driving through. Traffic is like water and it will find the quickest and easiest path.

“We need a system to prevent them coming through the centre of town. They shouldn’t be coming off the motorway in the first place.”

Thames Valley Police 
and Oxfordshire County Council can enforce weight 
restriction orders  under 
the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

But Councillor Bob West said: “There’s no point in spending money on ANPR if the money goes down the black hole that is Oxfordshire County Council.

“What’s the point in getting the cameras if they are not going to do anything about it?”

Cllr Badcock agreed that offenders would have to be pursued otherwise it would be “pointless”.

“Whatever Watlington Parish Council chooses to do is entirely your decision but I will be, in any discussions, making that request,” she said.

Councillor Andrew McAuley pointed out that some large lorries needed to get into the centre of town to make deliveries.

Meanwhile, a developer has amended its outline planning application for 100 homes in the neighbouring Pryton parish.

Providence Land wants to build on land off Pyrton Lane and the plans, originally submitted in July 2016, have been through multiple revisions. The latest change is to make more space for sports provision following discussions with Watlington Parish Council.

The additional space would allow for another football pitch and there would be a “green corridor” alongside the allotments off Love Lane.

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