Herts County Council give green light to A507 weight restrictions

PUBLISHED: 14:01 22 September 2018

Two lorries passing side-by-side in Cottered, at the A507's narrowest point. The road is 5.1m wide, and lorries are up to 2.55m wide each, not including wing mirrors. Campaigners say this makes dangerous pavement-mounting inevitable and frequent. Picture: Safer A507 Campaign

Two lorries passing side-by-side in Cottered, at the A507's narrowest point. The road is 5.1m wide, and lorries are up to 2.55m wide each, not including wing mirrors. Campaigners say this makes dangerous pavement-mounting inevitable and frequent. Picture: Safer A507 Campaign

Archant

Herts County Council have decided to go ahead with proposals to put a weight restriction on all or part of the A507.

In places the A507 – between Baldock and Buntingford – is so narrow that two lorries, travelling in different directions, can’t pass each other.

This doesn’t stop hundreds of lorry drivers from using it as a short-cut every day.

Last Friday, members Herts County Council’s Highways and Environment Cabinet Panel heard that an ‘automatic number plate recognition’ survey had shown 718 HGV journeys on the road within a 12 hour period. Results of the survey suggest 70 per cent of those journeys were by vehicles using the route as a short-cut.

At the meeting, councillors decided to push ahead with proposals to put a weight restriction on all or part of the road.

John Wiblin, chair of the ‘A Safer A507’ group, said: “The discussion has been moved from whether or not there ought to be a weight limit to solve the problem to a discussion about the best place within the route to put the weight limit.”

“It’s definitely moving in the right direction. Unfortunately the wheels of these things move incredibly slowly.

“There are very few pedestrians around in Cottered because people do not feel safe.

“There are people who live on one side who hardly ever go to the other.”

According to Mr Wiblin HGVs can travel at “remarkable speeds” and residents frequently have to pick up debris that’s fallen from vehicles that have clipped each other at speed.

Detailed options for the scheme, expected to cost around £100,000, will be presented to the committee in January – with a view to implementation in 2019/20.

Any formal plans to introduce weight restrictions are likely to receive some opposition. The report to the committee says The Freight Transport Association have indicated they would object to any attempt to restrict access.

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