HIGHWAYS ENGLAND CONFIRM THAT WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON THE A515 ARE POSSIBLE TO STOP DAMAGE AND MISERY IN YOXALL AND KINGS BROMLEY
The Operations Director of Highways England has confirmed that weight limits could be added along the route of the A515 which passes through Yoxall and Kings Bromley.
“Heavy trucks are making the lives of residents in Yoxall and Kings Bromley a misery as drivers use the narrow A515 with its hairpin bends as a rat run” says Michael Fabricant. “Damage has been done to property and one of these days a child will be killed as these heavy trucks often mount the pavement.
“In the past, County Councillors have claimed they do not have the powers to put weight restrictions on the A515 as it has been designated by the Council as a Primary Route Network, a ‘PRN’.
“Legal opinion in the House of Commons Library and officials at the Department of Transport both disagree, however. They say that the Council does indeed have the power to undesignate the A515 as a PRN just as easily as they put it on given the existence of more suitable routes such as the A38 and the A50. And they say the Council also has the authority to add weight restrictions. The power is in their hands.
“And now Highways England have written formally to me saying they have no objection to weight restrictions being imposed on the A515.
“Nick Harris the Operations Director of Highways England says:-
“I have noted the concerns you have raised regarding HGVs using the A515. This issue has been raised at the Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee, where we gave evidence. It has also been raised at the Staffordshire Freight & Community Forum, which we attend.
“Regarding your proposal, we do not object to a weight restriction on the A515, in principle. However, plans would have to be in place to revoke the restriction in the event of a closure on the A38 for emergency events or planned works.
“For planned works, we would be able to lift the restriction, by way of a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order; there would also be time to cover up any signs. However, for emergency events, there would need to be a clear plan in place to get the signs covered, given that our staff would be focusing on dealing with the incident. It’s possible that a HGV, following an emergency diversion route, would encounter what appear to be weight restrictions on the diversion route. The driver may then attempt to turn around or find an alternative route, which could compound the disruption already caused by the emergency closure.
“We have liaised with the county and parish councils, who understand that these issues would need to be adequately resolved before a weight limit could be imposed on the A515. If they choose to pursue this, then we will be happy to enter into discussions with them.”
Michael says: “I have now written to John Henderson, the Chief Executive of Staffordshire County Council, explaining there is no impediment to a weight limit being imposed on the A515 subject to the provisions of a blockage on the A38. I have asked that he personally now encourages officials to get on with it and to stop prevaricating. Officers of the County Council no longer have any excuse not to act.
“I also hope that the Parish Councils engage with Highways England so this HGV misery can finally be resolved. I am more than happy to facilitate this.”