Lib Dems: A5 De-trunking Needed
|Author: Martin Johns - Lib Dem||Published: 14th September 2021 12:17|
Local Liberal Democrats are sceptical of reports that an environmental weight restriction and traffic calming measures have been agreed by National Highways for Towcester’s town centre.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Martin Johns says: “I’d very much like to think that after so many years of local campaigning, the government has agreed to measures to keep out HGVs from the town centre. However, my understanding is that a weight restriction and traffic calming has been discussed again with the Department for Transport but contrary to media reports, no such weight restrictions or traffic calming have been agreed.
Towcester Town Council have called on West Northamptonshire Council to grab the initiative and back a plan to create a Clean Air Zone in Towcester town centre. A review of parts of the road network, by the Department for Transport, is giving the opportunity for WNC to manage a detrunked section of the A5 through Towcester.”
Liberal Democrat Councillor Lisa Samiotis, who represents Towcester and Roade on West Northamptonshire Council says: “I am urging WNC to take control of the section of the A5 through Towcester and enforce a Clean Air Zone. This would ensure HGVs use the new road being built by developers. It’s frustrating that after the many claims that the developers’ access road will be opened earlier than planned for, it seems very likely it will open as originally agreed, by the occupation of 1016 houses, sometime in 2023.”
Councillor David Tarbun adds: “Local people are looking to West Northamptonshire Council and our local MP to back the plan for de-trunking the A5 and introduce a Clean Air Zone. Towcester Town Council wrote to WNC weeks ago asking for them to support de-trunking, but no reply, regrettably, has been received.
The environmental weight restriction talked of, would usually only apply to vehicles with a maximum gross weight of 7.5 tonnes or above when fully loaded. Only the police with trading standards can carry out enforcement. Hence weight restrictions are particularly difficult to enforce due to the exemption they carry for vehicles requiring legitimate access. Each vehicle must be stopped to check for this (and only the police can stop a vehicle). Weight restrictions for environmental reasons aren’t enforced currently on any major trunk road such as the A5.”