The pandemic has seen an increase in goods traffic through the villages of South Cambridgeshire, from small delivery vans to large articulated lorries. This has coincided with more residents taking up cycling and walking, increasing the safety risk on our roads. It has also come about at a time when the government has proposed abolishing the current vehicle weight restrictions.
As well as making our local roads less safe for pedestrians and cyclists, the rise in HGV traffic has contributed to air pollution, and stress for residents who are regularly subjected to noise and vibrations from the vehicles.
Rural roads were not built for HGVs and surfaces have suffered from the increase in traffic. Moreover, where weight restrictions are in place, they are often ignored and the police have indicated they are not able to enforce the limits.
The motion, tabled at February’s full council meeting by Lib Dem councillor Claire Daunton (Fen Ditton & Fulbourn), proposed that the district council request the county council to facilitate measures that encourage:
- local communities to report HGV infringement of restrictions
- the police to take action against persistent offenders
- satnav companies to incorporate the County’s advisory freight routes into their systems
- delivery companies to switch to hybrid or electric vehicles
- the installation of appropriate 20mph speed limits, along with physical highway restraints, in the areas worst affected
The motion also called for the Leader of South Cambs District Council to write to the Secretary of State for Transport, to request that the government fully take into account the effects of HGV traffic on rural communities when considering changes to current regulations on vehicle weight.