Has caused years of absolute misery
RE: EXPERIMENTAL weight restriction on A368 through Upper Langford. Let us not forget the origin of this weight restriction.
RE: EXPERIMENTAL weight restriction on A368 through Upper Langford.
Let us not forget the origin of this weight restriction. Banwell has suffered for nigh on 60 years from an increasing number of non-local HGVs taking a short-cut by travelling on the A368 - a road restricted to just one lane in the middle of the village.
This has caused years of absolute misery not only for villagers in Banwell but for all those along the route right through to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) of Burrington Combe.
North Somerset Council has tried very hard particularly over the last eight years to resolve this issue. Together with professional consultants and TMTV (Traffic Management for the Villages - a group of parish councils, the CPRE, The Mendip Society and Resident Action groups) they have carried out copious consultations, traffic counts and HGV surveys (independently conducted by both North Somerset Council and TMTV) including visits to other parts of the country where 7.5 tonne weight restrictions have been successfully applied. Make no mistake; no stone has been left unturned.
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Together, a simple, efficient, cost-effective solution has been found - a non-local, over 7.5 tonne, weight restriction on the A368 through Upper Langford. I can see that it would have been preferable to have extended this beyond Blagdon, but for various reasons which I cannot quite comprehend, this has not been possible due to the attitude of BaNES and Somerset County Council.
I have considered traffic information supplied by both these authorities and whilst not claiming to be an expert in this field it is apparent to me, the amateur, there are some glaring, misleading errors.
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Not only does this excellent solution prevent non-local HGVs from using these unsuitable roads as a shortcut, but it also makes the B3134 through Burrington Combe and the AONB, a lot safer. Any of your readers who use this road regularly will agree with this.
I believe that it is time for us all to work together and whilst accepting that if we all want our goods delivered 'instantly' then we all have to take our fair share of the problems that this inevitably causes. None of us can be NIMBY about it. I fully sympathise with the plight of the villagers of Banwell, and all those villages along the A368 in North Somerset and BaNES and all those who enjoy the simple pleasures of the AONB.
There are other anomalies which come into play on the number of axles various smaller vehicles have which either count as over 7.5 tonne HGVs or not. TMTV counts have indicated that there has been a significant reduction in the over 7.5 tonne, 3-6 axle HGV's giving rise to the suggestion that these HGVs are indeed using the larger appropriate roads and not seeking alternative routes through Chew Magna and Winford.
Surely the right thing is for all of our local authorities to work together and for BaNES to seize the initiative and put in place the weight restriction on the B3130 through Chew Magna and the section of the A368 around the AONB lakes and through the AONB as far as the A37 and for North Somerset Council to make the B3130 through Winford part of the Chew Magna restriction. Somerset County Council could do well to do likewise and think in terms of reconsidering their position in the light of their survey on the A371 and come in on the scheme.
This will give all of our villages in and around the AONB the benefit of proper HGV management, the local hauliers less congested local roads and the people of Banwell and all our suffering villages a much more peaceful existence.