Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The HGV/LGV Menace

From John Howard on behalf of Chearsley Parish Council

Many of you may recall seeing the devastation at the Chestnut Tree at the centre of our village earlier this year.

On the evening of Tuesday 16th February, a large lorry tried to make a sharp right right turn from the Aylesbury Road onto the Winchendon Road. A car driver, who had been behind the lorry from Cuddington, then witnessed what was clearly an impossible manoeuvre for such a large vehicle in making a sharp right turn around a tight corner. The lorry flattened the large ‘Give Way’ sign, located by the junction, and also caused significant damage to the kerbside bank, as shown by these photographs. Needless to say, the lorry didn’t stop but, while our witness was unable to get the vehicle registration number, she was able to record the name of the company on the trailer – APL Logistics, a large international haulage group.

The Parish Council contacted the company, who were quick to abdicate all responsibility for the incident, saying they rent out a large number of containers to local hauliers and for them to identify the culprit without a vehicle registration number, would be like ‘finding a needle in a haystack’ – well, they would say that, wouldn’t they.

Our subsequent contact with Bucks County Council told us that, in the absence of the vehicle registration number or photographic evidence, there was very little prospect of securing a damages claim against the offending party.

They advised us that the information needed to support a successful claim was as follows:
  • Date of incident
  • Time of incident
  • Location of incident
  • Vehicle type (e.g LGV, farm vehicle, bus, skip lorry)
  • Direction of travel
  • Vehicle registration
  • Company details (if available)
  • Photograph
If any Chearsley resident is witness to any form of damage or other antisocial behaviour perpetrated by an LGV (Large Goods Vehicle), please do your best to gather as much of the above information as possible – in particular, the registration number of the vehicle and photographic evidence are critical. Then please pass the information to John Howard – jnh@dbmc.co.uk or 07970 651326

Your Parish Council have also been in discussion with Bucks County Council and other local villages (Ashendon, Cuddington and Westcott) about the increasing numbers of LGVs using the minor roads through our villages en route to the new landfill and incinerator facilities at Calvert.

There are a number of possible measures which might be taken to restrict LGVs using minor roads as short cuts, rather than sticking to major roads – A418, A41, M40 and so on.

In order to identify the best solution, we first need to gather a ‘body of evidence’ to demonstrate the extent of the problem.

To get things moving, we have agreed to carry out a test survey in co-operation with Ashendon, Cuddington and Westcott during Friday 10th June. We will monitor all LGVs entering our villages during the hours of 8am to 4pm.

As far as Chearsley is concerned, we’ll need to monitor and document vehicles entering the village on the Aylesbury, Winchendon, Chilton and Crendon Roads. If you are able to help, please contact John Howard – jnh@dbmc.co.uk or 07970 651326 and indicate the hours during which you would be available to help with this work. A full briefing will be given ahead of the day.

In addition to LGV/HGV ‘menace’, a number of residents have also expressed concerns about the growing numbers of vehicles driving through our village at high speeds. The Parish Council will be taking specialist advice on this matter as well, to establish whether effective traffic calming measures are available.

John Howard
Great Barn
School Lane

01844 208036
07970 651326