Plea to report HGVs ignoring Woburn weight restriction

Council and Police enforce the 7.5 tonne weight restriction for HGVs
Council and Police enforce the 7.5 tonne weight restriction for HGVs

Woburn residents are being asked to keep an eye out for HGVs travelling through the village illegally.

After a long campaign, Woburn now enjoys a new traffic restriction whereby no HGVs above 7.5 tonnes are allowed to drive through the village unless making a local delivery/pick-up.

There are Weight Restriction warning signs on all of the roads leading into Woburn. The High Street has also been downgraded to a “B” road to discourage SATNAVs from choosing a route through the village.

A parish council spokesman said: “The challenge is to enforce these new traffic regulations, and we need your help to monitor the traffic flows.

“If anyone notices a HGV in the village with no obvious local activity, please note the trucking company name, license plates (if possible) and time/date.”

A form has been created for residents to download and send to the offending company, with the council requesting a copy be sent to them also.

Access the form via http://woburn.bedsparishes.gov.uk/noticeboard/

Meanwhile, Highway Officers and Trading Standard Officers from Central Bedfordshire Council teamed up with the police to enforce the new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) restrictions Woburn Road, Hockliffe and in Dunstable recently.

It’s the first time the council has run this type of operation since the final road signage about the restrictions was installed in January 2018, and they had plenty of success.

In just one day they issued 24 Fixed Penalty Notices for contravention of the weight restriction, as well as 13 verbal warnings to HGV drivers.

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration said: “Friday was a very productive day and demonstrates that we take the weight limit very seriously. We are aware that local people have been frustrated that there are still HGVs in the town centre.

“During the enforcement exercise it became clear that a number of HGV drivers were following directions via their SATNAV, rather than paying attention to the road signage.

“This isn’t good enough. Before the weight limits came into effect, we met with the major businesses and haulage and logistics companies in the area so that their drivers were informed of the new rules.

“We expect to see better levels of compliance with the weight limits in the future, now that drivers and businesses know we are actively enforcing these. We will continue to work with the police to prosecute HGV drivers who ignore these weight limit restrictions.”

Last year the council opened its £40m Woodside Link road to take traffic from Sundon Road to Woodside Industrial Estate and on to the M1 motorway. The council also helped fund the Highways England A5-M1 Link, which opened soon after.

The previous A5 road (now A505) through Dunstable was then ‘de-trunked’, with a 7.5 tonne weight limit put in place to take HGVs away from Houghton Regis and Dunstable town centres. This was to help ease local congestion and improve air quality for residents.

A 7.5 tonne weight limit now operates in Houghton Regis, Dunstable, Toddington, Chalton and many local roads. Only heavy goods vehicles delivering to the local area can pass through these towns. However the A505 remains the official diversion route if the M1 is completely closed.

For more information about the area’s HGV routes, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/weightlimits