Concerns regarding Heavy Goods Vehicles (LGVs) travelling through Knaresborough are running high and the issue has been raised at the local Safer Neighbourhood meeting. Many residents have complained about an apparent increase over the last months, particularly on the High Street, Boroughbridge Road and Bond End.
Local District Councillor Anne Jones (Scriven Park Ward) has particular concerns regarding abuse of the 7.5 tonne weight limit on the B6165 from its junction with the A59 in Knaresborough (Bond End)and the roundabout on the A61 at Ripley.
Although there are no weight restrictions on the A59 at Bond End, the High Street or Boroughbridge Road it is considered that the abuse of the B6165 has a knock on effect by encouraging LGV drivers to travel through Knaresborough to take advantage of this illegal shortcut.
To try and find a resolution of the issue Cllrs Anne Jones and
Councillor Bill Hoult, Vice Chair of the Knaresborough Safer Neighbourhood Group met with officers of the NYCC Trading Standards Department to discuss a “lorry watch” scheme.
The scheme only operates on those roads that already have a weight limit and the first stage is for concerned residents along those roads to gather information over a period of time on LGVs (registration numbers, operator names etc) that they consider should not be using the route. This information is then collated by a coordinator and passed to the Trading Standards Department at County Hall.
Trading Standards would then validate the information and contact the owners of the contravening lorries and ask for details of their travel arrangements. For instance, were they travelling to deliver or collect materials etc to premises on the route (which is legitimate) or just passing through (which is illegal).
At this stage those abusing the weight limit would be issued with a warning.
If the “lorry watch” produces evidence of regular abuse, Trading Standards are prepared to set up their own more regular surveillance operations, the outcomes of which may result in prosecutions.
Cllr Anne Jones has offered to be the coordinator of any “lorry watch” scheme set up on the B6165 and it is considered that should sufficient volunteers be recruited that the “lorry watch” should operate between September and December. Interested residents should contact Cllr Anne Jones on 01423 862484 or via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
Any lessons learnt from the exercise could be used to carry out a
similar exercise elsewhere in Knaresborough.