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Prohibition of Heavy Goods Vehicles in Waverley and Guildford

Roads are there for deliveries too

By Diamond Logistics CEO Kate Lester

I’ve just been approached by BBC Surrey telling me about plans proposed by four parish councils of Hambledon, Chiddingfold, Dunsfold and Hascombe, to restrict HGV access on the roads that run inside the triangle from the A3100 running from Godalming to Milford down the A283 to Chiddingfold and across to the A281 to Dunsfold. These areas are already clearly defined as not suitable for HGV use but the allegation from local parishioners is that they are being used for ‘rat runs’ and they are seeking to ban HGV wholesale excluding public service vehicles such as buses or bin collections.

I know this area very well as I lived there for many years (in fact my son was born on Pickhurst Lane!) and drove around it yesterday afternoon to refresh my memory of the roads and the businesses and industrial parks there that will be affected.

First of all, I think there’s a lack of understanding from these parishioners of how challenging these roads are for HGV drivers. There is no HGV driver in his right mind that would select one of these roads rather than using the main arterial roads in the region, so unless there is a problem in terms of traffic or road closures, I’m pretty sure that the vehicles are only going to choose these roads when they absolutely have to.

Secondly there’s a lot of businesses that rely on HGV delivery within this catchment area. Pubs, farms, plant hire companies and small industrial estates are all within the selected geography. Therefore, I asked the parishioners how are they expecting deliveries to occur?

I’m sure their short answer would be that they can have them put onto smaller vehicles but this ultimately drives up volume of vehicles on the roads and the cost for deliveries as more vehicles are used. There are also some goods which are completely inappropriate for smaller van deliveries – I’m thinking of sleepers for your garden or a pallet of new paving bricks for your new patio that require the larger goods vehicles.

I also argue how are they going to police this? It’s near on impossible. Are they going to blanket fine all HGVs that are driving through the area with the onus on the operator proving that it was an essential delivery? This adds yet another onerous burden on Logistics businesses.

Ultimately, I think it’s a half-baked idea that will have wide implications to both the consumer into the Logistics businesses involved. I have submitted my opposition to it today. I have seen a general shift away from the support of larger goods vehicles over the last few years. I don’t think it was helped by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) creating a hierarchy of user needs starting with the pedestrian and cyclist and ending in the HGV.

My argument is that it should be a rounded holistic policy taking into consideration the needs of all the vehicles on the roads. Ultimately, these vehicles are delivery vehicles delivering on behalf of businesses and consumers. How do we get to customers if we are not able to deliver to the door?


DVLA Hierarchy of road users:

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Horse Riders
  • Motorcycles
  • Cars
  • Small Vans
  • HGVs

My proposed Hierarchy is where all parties have consideration for the challenges that all road users face. It’s not easy being an HGV driver! And we need them!

Here is a link to the public consultation so you can have your say:



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