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A Warrington MP has stood up for residents and drivers and opposed a ban on HGVs in her constituency.  Proposals to ban HGVs from driving through Lowton would affect nearby Croft and cause more problems than they solved, argued Helen Jones.

 

Plans to ‘de-prime’ the area of Winwick Lane would, Ms Jones told residents of Lane Head Residents Group, simply lead to HGVs taking an alternative route which would also be a problem. At a meeting in Leigh, the MP stood firm on refusing the HGV ban, on the grounds that it would create bigger problems for residents elsewhere. Ms Jones pointed out that HGV drivers headed for East Lancashire would simply leave the M6 at Junction 22 and drive through the village of Croft to reach their destination with minimal detours. Croft is a small village with few pavements and very narrow roads, making it a dangerous detour for HGV drivers, car drivers and pedestrians alike.

 

The MP’s support will be welcome news to HGV drivers who need to drive through the area regularly, and rely on finding the most efficient routes to make pick-ups and deliveries. Banning HGVs from many areas could make drivers’ lives significantly more difficult, leading to increased journey times and costs. In addition, such moves often make a traffic problem worse in other areas, leading to a knock-on effect of further bans being imposed to deal with these resulting issues. One place an HGV ban of sorts has been successful is in London, where the London Lorry Control Scheme affects where drivers of 18 tonne and up HGVs are restricted as to where they can drive on evenings and weekends. But even this is not an out-and-out ban, and simply exists to give residents in certain London areas some time off from the constant presence of HGVs in the busy capital city.

 

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has outlined plans to ban many HGVs from London’s roads by 2020, but surprisingly not for traffic reasons.  Instead, Mr Khan has said he wants only HGVs that adhere to a strict, star-rated safety standard to be present on the roads of London. The star rating will take into account the added visibility provided by larger windscreens and glass doors, with the aim of reducing accidents involving HGVs in the city.

 

In Oxfordshire, councillors have recently discussed banning HGVs from certain residential areas during the night, and in North Yorkshire there are proposed bans in some small towns relating to pollution.  But elsewhere in the UK, HGVs bans are usually only imposed due to height and weight restrictions relating to certain roads, tunnels and bridges. This is for the safety of HGV drivers as well as other road users and local infrastructure.

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