unworkable, unenforceable and unwelcome says FTA. The Freight Transport Association has warned Gloucestershire County Council that its proposals for a Lorry Management Zone in the Cotswolds, designed to restrict the operation of commercial vehicles above 7.5 tonnes, fails to produce any benefits and should not be introduced. FTA says that the ban would not produce any meaningful reduction in the movement of goods vehicles serving business and the community in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, but would raise expectations with the public which would not be achieved. The current proposals must be scrapped.
FTA was responding to the publication of the Traffic Regulation Order seeking to ban lorries from an area bounded by the M5 to the west, the A429 to the east, the A40/A436/A417 to the north and across Minchinhampton Common, running largely parallel with the A419 to the south.
FTA's Head of Policy for the West of England, Stephen Kelly said, 'The proposed ban is a complete muddle and a bureaucratic waste of time. It constitutes potential inconvenience and increased costs to lorry operators, and risks raising the expectations of local residents without being able to deliver any benefits.
'The scheme attempts to ban the movement of commercial vehicles but, given that it provides an exemption for those that are loading or unloading within the defined zone, will only impact on the limited numbers of lorries making through journeys. The council acknowledges that the principal road affected by the ban, the A46, carries only 90 HGVs each day – just 3.75 vehicles per hour, a figure which most reasonable people would regard as trivial on an 'A' class road. The council also says that the ban will result in the reduction of this figure to 57 vehicles per day – that is to 2.37 vehicles per hour.
'It is unlikely that residents or visitors are actually going to notice this reduction. However, the combination of additional costs to those transport operators who are affected, the costs of signing and advertising the scheme itself, and the seeming absence of any safety benefits, makes implementation of the scheme a nonsense. High cost lorries do not run around for fun – especially with the current price of fuel! Those vehicles are working for the benefit of industry, retailers, farmers and consumers.
'Vehicles that are not collecting or delivering goods within the zone would be obliged to take a longer route in order to circumvent the ban, resulting in longer journey times, increased fuel consumption and greater costs – all with virtually zero benefit to the environment and the community.
'This ill thought out scheme should be scrapped right now. FTA will be happy to engage with Gloucestershire County Council in order to identify realistic options for relieving the impact of lorry operations overnight. But this present scheme is a loser – a total waste of time and money.'