Today, Sutton on Derwent Parish Council presented a petition to the ERYC Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny Committee asking that the trial weight limit on the bridge over the River Derwent in the village is made permanent, two members of the Parish Council appeared and gave an interesting presentation in support of their case.
I also appeared before the committee and spoke against the proposal, because the result of the trial weight limit has been to pass the HGVs movements from Sutton on Derwent to the Howdenshire villages of Bubwith, Foggathorpe and Holme on Spalding Moor.
Mr Kirby, the Chairman of Sutton on Derwent the Parish Council spoke very vividly about the dangers of HGVs coming through his village prior to the weight limit, sadly what he was describing is what we presently see in Bubwith. This is more than a case of moving the problem from one village to another - in the past all villages had a share of the HGV movements but now as a result of closing off one route - the villages on the other routes have been left with a greater problem. For me it is a case of balance, bearing in mind the old adage that for every action there is always a reaction – but which can be disproportionate, as we have seen in this case.
To re-route HGVs through rural villages such as Bubwith, Holme on Spalding Moor, Foggathorpe and Harlthorpe not only passes the problem from one community onto others, but also has a detrimental effect on both the businesses that have to foot the extra fuel costs and increased travelling times, and the wider community with the increased emissions associated with lorries travelling the extra distances. I do not think this fits with the ERYC policy of reducing emissions through reduced journeys.
Mr Kirby also raised the issue of HGVs leaving Howden and Goole and their Sat Navs sending them up the B1228 instead of the route to York via the M62 and the A19. It was acknowledged that changing Sat Nav routing can be difficult and somewhat long term, but my suggestion was accepted and agreed for the ERYC to write to all the large companies in Goole and Howden handling large numbers of HGV orders, highlighting the negative impact of HGV movements on the B1228 and for them to ask the operators to avoid this route.
The Committee agreed to look again at this issue of the trial weight limit on the Sutton on Derwent Bridge in the future, as more information around HGV movements in the area, and comments from residents become available.
Ultimately we need a solution that is fair to all communities.