Exeter HATOC | 19 April 2012 | HGV Movements in Exeter

Another item under consideration  at Exeter HATOC on  19 April 2012 was the issue of HGV movements around the city.

Prompted by the desire to have a system of priority signing of HGV routes, I wanted to speak on other issues, affecting primarily areas West of the Exe, including my ward of Cowick and the neighbouring ones of St Thomas and Alphington.

9.ExeterHGV Traffic Management Proposals

Report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management (HTM/12/26 – text only | pdf ) (Page 36) on proposals to address HGV movements in the city centre by better managing freight traffic in terms of route choice and ensuring that there is a consistent and comprehensive strategy in place to influence heavy goods vehicle driver behaviour for accessing the city centre.

Electoral Division: All in Exeter

HATOC 19 April 2012
Agenda item 9
Exeter HGV Management Proposals

As we start to look at HGV movements around the city centre area, it is probably timely that we take time to ensure signage in other areas of the City.

It has recently been brought to my attention that significant areas of the City restrict movement of HGV’s above 7 and half tonnes to access only.

A DCC officer has confirmed that:

There is a lorry ban covering most of Exeter preventing lorries from passing through the city unless requiring access to premises within the ban area, or travelling on certain routes.

Now,  I am qualified to drive vehicles up to that weight – and sometimes still do for my work – but this came as a surprise, so much so that I decided to see how clear the signage was on the approaches to Cowick.

I went to the major approaches Cowick to find out how visible the No goods vehicles over maximum gross weight shown (in tonnes) except for loading and unloading signs were

Approaching Exeter – in my car, I’ll add –  from the Ide A30 interchange, I turned left into Cowick Lane at Alphington Cross.

At the traffic lights of that triangle there is a restriction sign – I saw because I was in a car, but a HGV driver might miss it because it was somewhat obscured by overhanging branches.

HGV prohibition sign on Cowick Lane
HGV prohibition sign on Cowick Lane

However, there are no restriction signs for large vehicles turning right into Cowick Lane from the outbound Alphington Road.

Similarly approaching Cowick Lane from the new new link road from Marsh Barton there is no signage prohibiting HGVs over 7 and half tonnes going straight over the junction.

So on to the approach into Exeter from Pocombe Bridge.

At the Welcome to Exeter sign there is a restriction sign – in among a series of other signage clutter – which directs large vehicles off the B3212 and takes them via Ide to the A30 Ide interchange. This is partly obscured by greenery

Neither entrance to Cowick is clear. Can the position and clarity of vehicle restriction signs be investigated with the utmost urgency?

But what concerns me is there appears to be a descepancy regarding Cowick Street.

The officer referred to above responded to me and a local resident

There is no restriction on HGVs using Cowick Street providing they are travelling to or from a location in the city. The vehicles you describe would appear to comply with this requirement.

The same officer goes on to say

As Cowick Street is a B road it will not be considered for a lorry ban as it is a strategic route into the city.

Also, there are many businesses in Cowick Street which require deliveries.

Yet at Exe Bridges there is a restrictive sign on the entrance to Cowick Street, and there SHOULD be no throughway to Cowick Street at the First and Last end due to the restrictions at Pocombe Bridge and Alphington Cross – I assume a similar restriction occurs at the Exwick approach from the A377 via St Andrews Road.

Of course, HGVs are permitted to enter Cowick Street for deliveries – is there any way they can be directed to enter and exit Cowick Street ONLY via the Exe Bridges roundabout?

The e-mail exchange about HGVs using Cowick Street was prompted by a resident complaining about large tipper lorries

Earlier today, I saw for myself a low sided tipper heading into Exeter along Dunsford Road.

I wasn’t quick enough to either follow it or count the wheels. Why? A 6-wheeled tipper is rated at  26 tonne laden, and an 8-wheeled one at 32 tonne.

There is confusion over signage, and confusion over advice.

The report acknowledges that the current city- wide ban is largely unenforceable and ineffective?

The plan would be to ENCOURAGE HGVs to use the most effective routes.

I can’t see any concrete proposals for positive HGV signage from West of Exe through Alphington, Cowick and St Thomas

So can we sure that revoking the current would not just open our roads West of Exe to severe battering by HGVs?

Can we try and sort this out?

The minute of the meeting notes”

*130 Exeter HGV Traffic Management Proposals

(Councillor Bull attended and spoke to this item in accordance with Standing Order 25)

The Committee considered the report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management (HTM/12/26 – text only | pdf ) on proposals to address HGV movements in the city centre by better managing freight traffic in terms of route choice and ensuring that there was a consistent and comprehensive strategy in place to influence heavy goods vehicle driver behaviour for accessing the city centre.

Members referred to the need to develop a strategy relating to Marsh Barton and Sowton industrial estates and also discussed issues relating to HGV movements in Cowick Street.

It was RESOLVED

(a) that the scheme shown on drawing B2300114/DIR/1200/001 and estimated at 25,000 be approved for implementation to help minimise the impacts of HGVs on local roads;

(b) that traffic regulation orders to revoke the Exeter wide lorry ban and to allow HGVs in bus lanes on Cowick Street, Fore Street (Heavitree) and Pinhoe Road at an estimated cost of 15,000 be advertised and made and sealed if there are no significant objections;

(c) that the changes to existing signage as shown on drawings TE/EX/102/7 and TE/EX/102/8 and estimated at 20,000 be approved for implementation to provide better information about height and weight restrictions on main routes into the city centre;

(d) that proposals to progress a HGV traffic management communication strategy, working closely with city centre businesses and haulage associations be supported.

(Councillor Hannaford requested that his abstention from the vote taken be recorded)

One issue that was mentioned during the discussions was that HGV traffic was often seen in Alphington, particularly along Chudleigh Road and Church Road. I wonder why this is if there is a city-wide HGV ban?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s