Village drives way forward to HGV ban

A SLEEPY Somerset village has become a pioneer for a project to reduce the number of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) rattling through the county s rural roads.

A SLEEPY Somerset village has become a pioneer for a project to reduce the number of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) rattling through the county’s rural roads.

Wedmore Parish Council has been working with the county council to try and get certain streets taken off satellite navigation systems that lorry companies use to find their way around.

Now Somerset County Council has written to every parish and town council in the area in the hope of compiling a list to send to hauliers and the people who work on Ordnance Survey maps to show which streets are suitable for HGVs and which ones are not.

Not only is the council hoping to stop lorries using the small rural roads, it will also be setting up a website with downloadable electronic maps with the new information on.

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A spokesman for the council said: “This exercise is part of a wider program of work to provide hauliers with better routing information in order to allow them to choose more suitable routes. We are hoping to set up a pioneering new database which can be used by HGV-specific satellite navigation systems.”

But Cheddar Parish Council chairman, Peter Lythgoe, is dubious about the scheme.

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He said: “Our main problem is the lorries driving down the A371. Lorries are getting bigger and bigger all the time and they drive through the village and on to Draycott.

“I support the idea of collecting all this information but if lorries have to travel further out of their way to deliver their goods then prices in the shops could go up.”

Shipham Parish Council chairman Charlie Riches and Axbridge Town Council mayor Mike Taylor believe their village and town is safe because there are already weight-restrictions in place throughout the centre of the two residences.

Wedmore Parish Council chairman, John Sanderson, said: “We spent a lot of time writing up a report of the roads we want on the list which includes parts of Church Street, The Borough and the sharp bend in Cheddar Road.

“I think it is great the county council is finally doing something to stop lorries travelling through the area.

“Of course we know they need to make deliveries to local businesses and we don’t want to cut them out completely but some just use Wedmore as a shortcut to Wells.”

Parish and town councils will be compiling information about their roads over the next month.

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