HGV ban welcomed by Water End residents

Published: 04 Jun 2018

A ban on heavy goods vehicles using the B440 through Water End and Great Gaddesden has been celebrated by local residents.

Residents were joined by local councillors, the local MP, and the Police and Crime Commissioner for a celebration event on Friday 18 May.

The 7.5 tonne limit follows a campaign by local residents concerned by the effects of HGVs using the road through the villages as a cut through. As well as the noise and vibration, lorries were sometimes striking the historic bridge across the River Gade in Water End, costing the county council thousands of pounds to repair the damage.

With the opening of the new A5-M1 Link (Dunstable Northern Bypass), it has been possible for Hertfordshire County Council, working closely with Buckinghamshire County Council and Central Bedfordshire Council, to reclassify the A4146 between Galley Hill and just south of Leighton Buzzard, and renumber it as the B440.

The county council has also used this as an opportunity to work with local residents to design and implement a 7.5 tonne weight limit to prevent HGVs using the newly reclassified route. The legal orders have now been completed and new road signs are up along the route, making the ban enforceable by the police.

Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “I’m pleased that our highways engineers have been able to work with the local community to find a solution to this problem. I know residents have felt strongly about this issue for a long time, and we’ve listened to those concerns. I’m confident that the new regulations will make a noticeable difference in the villages, from reduced noise pollution to protecting the historic bridge in Water End.”

Sir Mike Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead, said: “I am very pleased that this weight restriction is finally in place. It is long overdue, and at last this historic bridge and the old cottages of this beautiful village are better protected against the noise and vibrations of the hundreds of HGVs that had been using this route every day. This is a great example of local people coming together. It has been a very long fight for them, going way back to the 1930s, but at last this road is now safer for everyone. This is a victory for common sense.”

Across the three counties over 100 road signs have been erected or amended to reflect the new road numbering and weight limit.