Step by step

Step by step

Start by working out what type of goods vehicle you are concerned about and where they are going from and coming to

First, assess the size of the problem. You may want to see if data on lorry movements in your area is available, alternatively carry out a traffic count on a particular section of road. You may want to do separate counts for daytime, peak hours and evening or night. More information is available in the finding partners and information section. You can find more information about Local Transport Plans there, as these should set out strategic networks for road freight in your area.

It’s important to be clear about the type of vehicle you are concerned about. Lorries - also known in the UK as Heavy Goods Vehicles or Large Goods Vehicles - have a gross maximum weight of over 7.5t. Light Commercial Vehicles are less than that but over 3.5t. The term vans covers these as well as commercial versions of cars. It is the maximum weight that matters, not the laden weight. A good rule of thumb is that vehicles with more than four wheels and two axles will be over 18t, though it is harder to judge where trailers are involved.

Second, see if you can work out where the lorries are coming from and going to. Check to see if any existing restrictions are being regularly breached. If lorries are accessing a local destination then it may be harder to keep them away from local roads. So it may be easier to try to agree good practice principles with their operators. See how many lorries are foreign as these may be harder to influence through advisory signs and local information.

Thirdly, work out what alternative routes and options there may be. An easy way to do this is through an on-line journey planner such as Google Maps but remember that lorries have different acceleration and top speeds to cars plus restrictions on lorry movements may not be shown. There is more about routes in the shaping routes and networks section, including how to change the designation of a road, such as downgrading it from a B road, and making traffic orders. Where many lorries are delivering to a town centre you might consider if there could be a break-bulk centre established. Where there are many lorry movements from a particular site, you could consider if alternatives such as rail or water freight might be practical.

Finally, work out a range of solutions and score them how they might perform against different objectives, such as noise, safety, cost to operators, and so on. You can then present them to your local authority and community groups.

It is also worth remembering to monitor potential lorry problems before they arise, such as by looking at planning applications and operator licences - see the lorry management and control section. You could also push for stronger policies to manage lorries in your Local Transport Plan.

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