TRANSPORT chiefs are carrying out a study into how large lorries can be taken off some of Oxfordshire’s roads.
Proposals includes the possibility of a park-and-ride for lorries on the outskirts of Oxford city centre and Abingdon.
Oxfordshire County Council is carrying out the study following concerns from people worried about the number of HGVs using smaller roads.
County councillor David Nimmo Smith, the cabinet member for transport, said: “We are getting concerns from a lot of the towns and parishes about the number of lorries which really should be sticking to the trunk roads.
“Within that there is also a consideration of how to deal with lorries in the city.
“A lot of it is through traffic which really has no reason to use smaller roads and we are getting concerns from Chipping Norton, Burford, Bloxham and Henley.
“Anything which reduces that and reduces the air pollution they generate has got to be encouraged.”
Mr Nimmo Smith said the study is expected to be completed in the summer and said it was too early to say what might be proposed as a result of it.
But he said the use of freight “park and rides” was an example of what could be done, not just outside Oxford but also towns like Abingdon.
Geoff Mollard, the chairman of Bloxham parish council, said: “It causes enormous traffic problems.
“The centre of the village where the shopping area is gets completely bunged up by HGVs coming through here.
“What with that and the weight, the noise and the pollution the heavy traffic should not really be coming here. The roads weren’t built for it.”
Oxford City Council has ambitions to create a freight “consolidation centre” outside the city which would act as a park-and-ride for lorries, where they can deposit their goods without entering Oxford.
City councillor John Tanner, executive board member for cleaner, greener Oxford, said: “The city and county council are working on the possibility of a freight consolidation centre.
“What this would mean is that the supermarkets and other firms which use large lorries would deposit their loads at a lorry park-and-ride outside Oxford and this would be shipped into the city with smaller vehicles, possibly electric ones.”
But Rhys Williams, area manager for Oxfordshire Road Haulage Association, said a consolidation centre could mean more vehicles on Oxford’s roads, some of which might not meet the stringent environmental tests HGVs have to pass.
He said: “Hauliers don’t like going into villages just as much as the villages don’t like trucks going in them.
“Drivers don’t want to be negotiating a 40-tonne lorry through somewhere like Watlington.”