EXPERIMENTAL traffic orders which could reduce HGV traffic movement along sections of a main rural road in Staffordshire are set to come into force next month.
Communities living along the A515 have expressed concerns about increased use of the road by HGVs, rather than using the A38 and A50 trunk roads.
Local parish councils and residents took these concerns to the Staffordshire Freight and Communities Forum – which is made of a range or organisations aiming to address issues related to HGV impact on communities. The forum investigated how their concerns could be addressed in a practical and achievable way.
The issues mainly affect the villages of Draycott in the Clay, Yoxall and Kings Bromley and the experimental order scheme will be community-driven.
Phase one of the experimental orders scheme will see left and right turn bans for HGVs will introduced at three junctions on the A515 on roads which lead to the A38.
These are the junctions with the B5016 in Yoxall, the A513 in Kings Bromley and the C0183 Wood End Lane north of Lichfield. Signs will be installed shortly to inform drivers of the new orders and businesses from across the area have been informed. Regular traffic flow reviews will be carried out to assess the impact of the orders.
These will be experimental orders lasting for a temporary period of 18 months. They will come into force in late February.
Phase two will see local roads reclassified. The county council is making the case for Wood End Lane to be improved through the HS2 construction programme, after which it can be reclassified as an A or B road. The A513 and B5016 can then be reclassified to lower status roads so that weight restrictions could be applied.
On the A515 speed limit buffer zones and gateways are being introduced in Yoxall and Draycott-in-the-Clay.
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: “We are pleased that the experimental traffic orders will finally come into force in February.
“We have worked closely with parish councils and other organisations through the freight forum to find practical and achievable ways to address some of the concerns raised by HGV traffic on the A515.
“It was important to everyone that we were able put forward measures that could be delivered promptly and with a relative ease. Experimental traffic orders do just that and mean that we can monitor their effectiveness during the temporary period. We can then make decisions on longer term measures or possible alternatives. If successful we can then look to reclassify some local roads to make the measures even more effective.
“It is also important to note that this is a community-led scheme and has been implemented in response to community concerns.
“We are confident these measures can make a difference and that we have managed to get to this stage as a result of our work with the parish councils and communities.”
The scheme is supported by the police who will carry out enforcement of the orders.
People can have their say by emailing [email protected]