It is not uncommon for news articles to be published focusing on the chaos caused by HGV drivers attempting to drive on country lanes. In recent years, the number of issues reported has increased, with an equal rise in calls from the public to penalise those that break traffic regulations.
For hauliers like us, this problem is becoming more relevant. Many of Acclaim’s deliveries are made throughout the New Forest and fairly rural areas such as Lyndhurst and Lymington, so we are keen to find a solution which works for both local residents and our drivers, who have the difficult task of traversing small residential rural areas. What’s more, online shopping has meant significant growth in the number of home deliveries, taking our HGVs into areas that traditionally we would not have been expected to deliver to.
Campaign for HGV Ban on Residential Roads in Dorchester
A recent campaign in Dorchester aims to stop lorries and heavy goods vehicles from travelling on residential roads. Residents have complained of damage to verges, cars and buildings as a result of lorries using restricted roads. However, councillor Stella Jones highlighted the need for improved signage on roads with weight, width and height restrictions to avoid further issues.
Insufficient Road Signage Causing Chaos
Current signage makes it difficult for drivers to pre-empt sharp bends and narrow roads, limiting their ability to plan alternative routes. Due to the insufficiency of road markings in rural areas, the reliance of HGV drivers on satellite navigation systems runs a far greater risk of lorries becoming stuck. In one case, a lorry driving on country roads in Devon became stuck and resulted in a driver having to sleep in his cab for 3 nights. Improved signage would be a great proactive step in terms of avoiding these kinds of issues.
Do Local Governments Need Greater Powers?
There have been some suggestions that police do not have sufficient resources to enforce restrictions relating to heavy goods vehicles. Instead the Local Government Association (LGA), believes that local governments should be given greater powers to impose fines, driving bans or any other necessary measures.
The government maintains that police have enough powers to regulate "heavy haulage road rogues". However, there are some areas, such as London, where local government have been given more scope. Whilst this may be able to manage the movements of a 7.5 tonne slow moving vehicle by utilising traffic cameras, rural communities are not so well equipped. The expense for rural areas to implement this type of technology would be far greater than the damage caused to the road surface or vehicles.
One element that can be changed to reduce the impact of HGVs is to provide alternative routes and road management. We believe that offering a way for lorry drivers to avoid blind bends will help to avoid the inevitable queue of traffic and damage to the local area.
Where Can You Get Advice on Restrictions?
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) supports the enforcement of restrictions on rural roads relating to weight, width and height. In order to facilitate this, they also offer guidance to their members on regulation updates and innovations in the logistics industry. As a result, staying safe on the roads is easier for lorry drivers, and the impact on rural communities is minimised.
Whilst all of the above initiatives are important, we do recognise that drivers must also take responsibility to reduce the number of incidents. As such, when driving in rural areas, we advise our drivers to reduce their speed, pay attention to road signage and take the time to review the area before travelling on country roads.
Established in 1993, Acclaim Logistics is an independently owned and managed freight carrier, with a fleet of over 40 vehicles and a large network of approved international freight forwarders. We offer a range of distribution services, ranging from same day deliveries to full artic loads, and are members of Palletways and APC.
To join our team or enquire about our logistics services, contact us on 023 8086 0722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org