HGVs may be forced to stick to suitable routes by having to carry commercial sat-nav systems.
The motion which has been put forward by Oxfordshire County Council has received unanimous support already this week.
It has been said that as a traffic authority the Council should urge the Government to make it compulsory for HGVs to use commercial sat-nav systems and ban the use of personal sat-nav systems.
The motion said: “The regulations need to make sure that the satellite navigation system is to be kept up-to-date with the latest agreed HGV routes and to include appropriate fines. This council believes this change could become part of the current HGV inspection and enforcement process with little to no additional cost.”
Commercial sat-navs would help prevent accidents like this
Kevin Bulmer, who represents Goring on Oxfordshire County Council said he was delighted that the idea has been backed by so many colleagues. Many of which, he said, had examples of HGVs causing problems in their divisions.
“It was clearly something that struck a chord with councillors,” he said.
“Whatever their [HGV drivers] reason is, they are ending up on the routes they shouldn’t be. If you’re a cyclist or a pedestrian the last thing you want to do is meet a lorry.
“Private sat-navs will give you the quickest route from A to B. If you’re a lorry driver the last option is the scenic route. It’s the quickest way for a car but not a lorry.
“Commercial sat-navs are programmed with routing agreements and the size of your lorry,”
He continues saying the Whitchurch Bridge Company, which owns the Thames Bridge, has had one lorry a week turned back after drivers ignored height restriction signs.
“We’ll be pushing this motion with the Government and the Department of Transport to do something about it,” he said.
Will making it law to use commercial sat-navs prevent this happening?
David Nimmo Smith, county council cabinet member for transport, said: “Dealing with it at source is going to be a major step in the right direction.”
He hopes for an arrangement where information can be loaded on to the commercial sat-navs so operators are aware of height restrictions, narrow roads and weight limits.
The Oxfordshire County Council already has road freight agreements in place with some of the major haulage operators to stick to the truck roads unless they were specifically picking up or delivering to the area.
Dave McEwen, treasurer of environmental campaign group Henley in Transition, said: “It sounds like a good idea, anything that helps keep HGVs out of Henley that shouldn’t be there.
“Does that make a difference to HGVs coming from Europe? They are not going to be falling under our legislation I would have thought.”
McEwen also questioned the progress of a traffic regulation order to stop HGVs using the town for environmental reasons.
Geoff Weir, secretary of the Whitchurch Bridge Company, said: “I emailed Kevin Bulmer to say the company fully supports his motion and what’s he’s trying to do.
“They are a nuisance and when drivers get cross they take it out on our toll collectors.
“I know the village feels very strongly about it. We want to stop these big lorries coming through Whitchurch at all.
“About once a week we get an HGV coming south through Whitchurch ignoring the weight limit and low bridge signs.
“They get to the toll booth and the collectors say, ‘you’re not going to get under the railway bridge at Pangbourne’, so they park up.”
Will images like this be a thing of the past?
The motion around haulage operators having to use commercial sat-navs in their vehicles is a good idea and will help prevent un-necessary delays and vehicles getting stuck.
There always seems to be bad press from village residents and local councils about HGVs using their roads but what these people need to understand is that without HGVs nothing gets built and nothing gets delivered. People across the UK take so many things for granted, if HGVs were to stop going to your village or town then you would have no food, no fuel, no shops, no new housing, no new development, no road improvements, basically nothing, what would happen then? You’d want to move… But you can’t as a removal truck, as a HGV, is too big for your village.
All we are saying is yes this commercial sat-nav thing is a good idea and will help but to say things like ‘we don’t want HGVs in our village at all’ is a bit short sighted. Think of what the truck drivers of the country do and deliver before wishing they were not there.