New freight strategy aims to reduce load on Buckinghamshire communities

Minimising the impact of freight travelling through Buckinghamshire was the subjectof a specialsummit which brought together community leaders from across the county on Monday (February 13).

Organised by Buckinghamshire County Council, thedebate focused on the key issues that directly affect local communities from lorries and trains carrying freight. Theseincludednoise, road safety, damage to roads, lorry routing and congestion.

The session,marked the start of the process torefreshthe Council’sexisting freight strategy originally publishedin2010.

Workshop chairman and the County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Transportation, Paul Irwin said things like the growth in online shopping and the continuing successofBuckinghamshire’s business economymeantit was the righttime to refresh thecurrent strategy.

“More than ever, we are having to cope with the impact of freight transport in thecounty and the challenges it placeson our infrastructure and quality of life.

“This session was all about fact finding and listening directly to the views of our local communities. We covered a range of potential solutions fromweight restrictions on roads to better sat-nav technology tohelp HGV drivers.I was alsograteful for the input fromthe Freight Transport Association and FCC Environment who bothshared some of their positive experiences of managing the impact of freight from atrade perspective.

“Our task now is to build on all these ideas and open up a wider discussion with industry and other authorities to help shape the development of our new strategy going forward.

Paul added, “We’ve got a long way to go yet and it won’t be a quick fix but I am determined to get the best possible protection for our local communities, while balancing the needs of the freight industry.”

The new strategy is expected to be finalised in 2018.