Transport plans and policies

4. Freight Strategy

Freight

Freight refers to goods moved by any mode of transport. This includes the Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) on our roads but could include barges, air and rail freight, buses, coaches and caravans. Under UK Vehicle Excise Duty rules, also known as vehicle tax, a Heavy Goods Vehicle is any truck weighing over 3,500 kilograms.

The transportation of goods by freight plays a key role in servicing Buckinghamshire’s industry, communities and supporting our growth and economic development. Freight offers our residents choice as consumers and businesses, keeping the county thriving and attractive. As Buckinghamshire grows, so does the volume of goods traffic.

Rises in online retail, new housing and other major physical projects proposed in and around Buckinghamshire requires a joined-up approach to manage the associated freight movements. Schemes affecting freight movements in Buckinghamshire during and after their development include Western Rail Access to Heathrow, M4 Smart Motorway, HS2, East-West Rail and the Heathrow Expansion.

Freight Strategy

The management of freight is complex, requiring a mix of short-term interventions and longer-term commitments. It’s important we have a strategy to help manage this.

Buckinghamshire’s statutory Local Transport Plan 4 committed to developing a new Freight Strategy; ensuring freight continues to help Buckinghamshire grow, thrive and develop. In response, we have developed a Freight Strategy to help balance the need for efficient distribution of goods with the needs of our environment and communities.

To help inform the Strategy, we ran a two-week online survey in summer 2017 and the 1092 responses we received about people’s views about freight in their area helped us create a draft document. We also attended LAF meetings, site visits with Parish Councils and meetings with industry organisations such as the Freight Transport Association. Overall, feedback focused on three areas:

  • HGVs using appropriate routes
  • Businesses and freight operators knowing where recommended freight routes are
  • Road safety and driver behaviour

Delivering the Freight Strategy

The Freight Strategy recognises the need to allow access of HGVs to support local businesses, whilst managing impact on residents and the environment. In order to help ensure HGV through-traffic is directed along appropriate strategic routes and that only necessary journeys occur on the local network (i.e. for access to business parks, farms, deliveries etc.), an area-based approach has been investigated for managing freight movements. The intention is that HGVs will be forced to use the most suitable roads in the area (such as A and B roads) with the local road network only being used by those accessing for deliveries, business etc.

The Ivinghoe area freight engagement is one of five locations identified for intervention through the adopted Countywide Freight Strategy, based upon initial analysis work and comments from local communities regarding volumes of HGVs. This area will be used as a pilot for replicating a similar approach within other affected areas across the county.

Consultation and Adoption

A 6-week consultation was held between 26th February to 9th April 2018 that helped us to identify local problem areas, explore untapped opportunities, and pinpoint solutions. Following the consultation, we evaluated the responses and produced a consultation report that captures the feedback received and how we’ve used it to shape the final Freight Strategy.

The Freight Strategy was adopted by Buckinghamshire County Council in June 2018. Please find below a copy of the Freight Strategy and other related documents.

To find out more about how we are working to deliver the Freight Strategy, please see our 'Limits and routing for heavy goods vehicles' webpage.

Contact

If you have any questions about this consultation, please email freight@buckscc.gov.uk or by telephone 01296 395000.

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Last updated: 12 February 2020

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