HGV traffic fears for Somerset roads eased after Bath loses fight to ban lorries
Fears over increased lorry traffic on Somerset's smaller roads have been eased after plans to ban heavy goods vehicles in Bath's city centre were blocked today.
Bath and North East Somerset Council had planned to introduce an experimental 18-tonne weight restriction on vehicles using the A36 Bathwick Street and A36 Beckford Road in both directions.
But the Department for Transport has upheld an appeal made by Wiltshire and Somerset County Councils and the Highways Agency, which all raised concerns about where the HGVs would be diverted.
Somerset County Council said the proposals would have added an extra 45 miles to journeys, and feared the diversions would force lorry drivers to use roads unsuitable for HGVs.
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Somerset County Council cabinet member Harvey Siggs said: “I am pleased that the Department for Transport has accepted that the changes would bring long diversions, inconvenience for lorry drivers and the risk of unsuitable roads being used for journeys.
"I would be happy to sit down with Bath and North East Somerset Council to see if there are other alternatives that would help them achieve what they want without causing major issues here in Somerset.”
A Bath and North East Somerset Council spokesman said: “We will be inviting representatives from the Highways Agency, Somerset County Council, Wiltshire Council, and the Government to work constructively alongside us to address the concerns of our local residents about Heavy Goods Vehicles travelling through Bath, particularly along A4 London Road and A36 Bathwick Street.”