HGV Movements in Alphington

Back in April 2012, when Exeter HATOC first started to look at HGV movements around Exeter [outlined the Officer’s report] , it  was reported that the current city-wide ban was ineffective and unenforceable.

The subject interested me back then – and still interests me now – as I am probably unusual among the councillors sititng around the discussion table at Exeter HATOC. I hold a C1 driving licence and so have the  experience of driving of vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes around Exeter

In the course of the discussion was pointed out by the local County Councillor that large trucks and lorries were often seen in Alphington Village.

Subsequent follow-up alongside Labour city councillors revealed that the city-wide ban didn’t extend as far as Alphington – a fact that seemed to have eluded the County Councillor since her election in 2006.

Very little progress on HGV movement within Exeter had been reported back to Exeter HATOC and so, at the meeting on 08 November, I asked for the following to be considered.

16. Various Highways Matters
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Bull has requested that the Committee consider the following items:
(a) Update on the progress of priority signage for HGV throughout Exeter, including the effects on streets that currently enjoy weight restrictions (such as Cowick Lane and Cowick Street). What will the process be to add additional weight restrictions to Streets such as Chudleigh Road in Alphington?
 
*162 Highways Matters
The Head of Highways and Traffic Management reported consultation with local members was in progress and that any suggestions could be directed to the Exeter Neighbourhood Highway Team (Devon County Council).
What these minutes don’t show is that discussion on the item in respect to Chudleigh Road was curtailed because the County Councillor representing Alphington had already left the meeting [some 45 minutes before the end of the meeting].
 
However, Cllr Rod Ruffle [like me, one of 4 City Councillors sitting alongside the 9 County Councillors on Exeter HATOC] who represents Alphington on Exeter City Council pointed out that a missing sign at the junction of Chudleigh Road with the A379 was responsible for the sightings of HGVs in Alphington but all was now in order.
 
This seemed to be contrary to the advice I had been given by County Highways officers so I went at looked at the signs.
CORRECT: On A379 preventing HGVs turning left into Chudleigh Road
WRONG?: On Chudleigh Road preventing HGVs turning right onto A379
The photos above show what I saw. The reference to goods vehicles of 3 tons has been superseded by the metric weight of 7.5 tonnes so that shows how long these signs have been here.
The one on the left appears to be in the correct position, preventing HGVs travelling along the A379 towards the Devon Hotel roundabout from turning left into Chudleigh Lane.
The sign on the right is on Chudleigh Roa, by the entrance to Peamore Barn, preventing HGVs turning right onto the A379. To prevent HGVs using Chudleigh Road the one on the right is in the wrong position – it would need to be on the A37, on the opposite side of the carriageway.
It appears that both Cllr Ruffle and Cllr Vanessa Newcombe are satisfied that the correct signage is in position to prevent HGVs travelling through the village from this direction.
I AM NOT. I will follow this up with County’s Highways Officers.
UPDATE [05 December 2012]
County Highways Officers confirm that both signs are correctly located.
 
There is a traffic order properly covering the restrictions in an experimental restriction from 1978. (http://www.devon.gov.uk/trafficorderssearch?url=trafficorders/browse.asp&url=20766
There is no prohibition of HGVs accessing Alphington Village from Church Road which is why there are no signs at Alphington Cross. 
There is a prohibition of HGVs westbound on Alphinbrook Road with an exemption for vehicles accessing properties. Signs are located at the junction with Trusham Road. There is no prohibition that prevents HGVs entering Alphington Village.
 
Your County Councillor has been representing Alphington for 6 years and doesn’t know that HGVs AREN|T banned from the village – it’s taken me less that 6 months to discover the true position on the matter.
 
Working alongside Alphington’s Labour City Councillors for Alphington, I will endeavour to ensure that when the provisions of HGV movement within Exeter are revised and the rules apply to village routes.
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