Crawley is working actively as a member of the Windrush Valley Traffic Action Group (WiVTAG) in the campaign against the current 7.5t weight restriction in Burford. The first phase of the campaign was directed to gather evidence of disruption, damage to the environment, damage to highways and footways, adverse impact on local businesses and farms and the impact on community life that was being caused by the additional HGV traffic that had been diverted from Burford. When this was all collated, WiVTAG was able to produce a full Appeal Statement that was submitted to Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) ahead of the mid-term review of the Burford scheme that took place on 29 July 2021. Sadly, no firm decisions were made at this review other than to confirm that the Burford scheme would be allowed to complete the full 18-month trial period, some extra traffic data would be collected in the next few months and OCC Officers were tasked to work with Burford to look at ways to improve the permit scheme that Burford is currently managing. The final decision on whether to continue, amend or revoke the Burford weight limit will be taken in January 2022.
So now we are into Phase 2 of the WiVTAG campaign. We want media coverage, lobbying of Councillors and letters to the local press. If you have ideas or can help with any of this, then please get going and let Mark McCappin (Crawley’s representative on the WiVTAG committee) know about it. Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
There are several other ways that you can help:
- Please can you send a letter or an email to Duncan Enright who is the OCC Cabinet Member who will make the final decision on whether to remove the Burford restriction. A flyer that explains exactly what to do and where to send you letter was delivered through letterboxes in Crawley in the first few days of October. If you need a copy, contact Mark McCappin.
- Please can you display a poster in your window or in your garden to support the campaign. Printed copies have been distributed through the village. If you need more (A5 or A3) or want to print your own (pdf file), contact Mark McCappin for copies or files. We would like a visible message for all drivers coming through Crawley.
- Please attend a demonstration in Market Square, Witney outside the Corn Exchange Building from 18:30 to 19:00 on Monday 11th October. Witney Town Council will be holding a Full Council meeting at 19:00 and we expect a resolution to be passed that supports the WiVTAG campaign. Witney is one of the biggest councils that has joined WiVTAG and they are suffering from an increase in HGVs coming through West End. The number of HGVs had gone up by 80% in a count that was done by OCC in February 2021. We think all these extra vehicles have been diverted from Burford.
If you can join this demonstration, that would be great. If you can bring a placard with you, that would be even better.
Please do all that you can to complete as many of these actions as you can. This is our chance to make a noise and be seen. We want to influence OCC’s decision to stop HGV vehicles being diverted through the communities surrounding Burford. Let’s get together and do something to make Crawley a better place.
I you need any more information or you want more copies of the printed window stickers or posters, please get in touch with Mark McCappin. (Mobile 07483 291590 or email email@example.com )
There will be a short Remembrance Service at the war memorial on Sunday 14th November at 10.45am.
Is anyone able to sell poppies around the village in the week or two before the service? If so, please let Sheena know as soon as possible.
We will be doing a litter pick around the village on Sunday 24th October. Meet at 10am at the war memorial. We have some supplies of litter grabbers and hi-viz jackets, but please bring your own if you have them. Bags will be provided.
Hope to see you there!
Ongoing approval of the current 7.5t weight limit through the centre of Burford was reviewed by Oxfordshire County Council at a Cabinet Member Decision Meeting on 29th July 2021. This review considered a report on the first six months of the Burford scheme and took the decision to allow the current experimental traffic regulation order to continue for the full trial period of 18 months. This period ends in February 2022 when a final decision will be made on whether to abandon the Burford scheme or to make it permanent.
WiVTAG were able to make a brief presentation to the Cabinet Meeting to express our objection to the scheme but there was no opportunity for any discussion. Statements were also made by Burford Town Council in support and by several County Councillors (both for and against continuing with the weight restriction).
WiVTAG’s position remains unchanged. We object to Burford’s selfish strategy that takes HGVs out of their community without any care for the impact that this will have in neighbouring communities and businesses. We will continue with our campaign on behalf of the parish councils who have given us their support (including Crawley PC) and we hope that when the final decision is made we can be successful in reverting to the previous arrangement that allowed HGVs to use the A361 through Burford and over the Windrush river bridge in the town. The alternative is that places like Witney, Crawley, Hailey, Minster Lovell and Swinbrook will see continuing increased use of the small roads through our villages and towns as diversion routes for heavy HGVs that would otherwise have driven through Burford.
Support for WiVTAG’s campaign will always be welcomed. Please contact Mark McCappin if you would like to know more. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Windrush Valley Traffic Action Group (WiVTAG) has completed and submitted its Appeal Document to OCC in their campaign to object to the current experimental 7.5t weight limit through the centre of Burford. It’s a lengthy document (54 pages!) made up of an appeal summary supported by data, evidence, market research and analysis in a series of appendices that make up most of the document. I don’t expect too many people will wade through all the appendices but I would recommend you to read the first 10 pages that provide the overall summary of our appeal. We believe we have a strong case and we hope to get some action from it. A copy of the full document is attached (see below).
There is a danger that Councillors will ‘kick the can down the road’ and postpone any decision to the end of the 18 moth period. But, if the objections are plentiful and strong, there is a chance that the scheme could be halted this summer. You could help by writing your own objection letter. Please see more about this in the announcement about actions being taken by Crawley PC.
Are you bothered by
- the increasing number of HGVs coming through Crawley,
- the damage that this is doing to our little roads, and
- the danger that these big vehicles create to residents in the village?
The reason that they’re coming is because they have been diverted from their normal route through the centre of Burford. Crawley is one of the few alternative routes that they can find to get over the river Windrush. Why should we in Crawley have to suffer the consequences of Burford’s self-protectionist ban on HGVs using the A361 in Burford? Burford don’t seem to be bothered where these big vehicles go – providing it’s not affecting them.
The Burford scheme is an ‘Experimental Traffic Regulation Order’ that will run for 18 months (August 2020 to February 2022). The County Council will review the performance twice during this time. Their first review will be at the OCC Cabinet Meeting on 29 July 2021. They could decide to stop it now but this will only happen if they get a very strong response from affected communities to demand the scheme is brought to a halt. The number of letters that are received by OCC really matters. We have been told by our County Councillor, Liam Walker, that ten letters will be given much more importance that one letter with ten signatures. You can help. Please write a letter or email to OCC (see instructions below).
- Crawley Parish Council has already written – a copy of the PC letter to Councillor Duncan Enright is attached.
- Every additional letter from a Crawley resident will help to get the action we need.
Your letter should go to Councillor Enright who is the Cabinet Member leading the OCC decision on what action to take.
Councillor Duncan Enright
Cabinet Member for Travel and Development Strategy
Alternatively you can send an email: email@example.com.
Here are a few ideas of issues that you may want to refer to in your letter:
- HGVs should be kept to the strategic routes through the County and should not be using narrow, unclassified roads through small communities like Crawley.
- Crawley’s roads are deteriorating because of the HGV use. With limited maintenance budgets we don’t expect they will be repaired.
- HGVs create risks for pedestrians and dog walkers. There are hardly any footways in Crawley so pedestrians have to walk on the road. We need to be kept safe.
- Diverting HGVs onto inappropriate routes will be damaging to the environment.
The Windrush Valley Traffic Action Group (WiVTAG) is making good progress in our campaign to object to the current experimental 7.5t weight limit through the centre of Burford and the effect that this is having on neighbouring communities.
We completed an Interim Report that was sent to OCC Officers who are working on an internal report that will be considered by OCC Cabinet this summer. WiVTAG will also be submitting a much fuller report directly to relevant County Councillors and to all the Cabinet members.
We were expecting that Cabinet would review the Burford Weight Limit at their meeting in June but we now understand that the item has been moved to the July. We will continue to gather evidence and to agree the final text for the full Appeal Document. This will be submitted to OCC at the end of June.
In the meantime, you may be interested to read the attached Interim Report that sets out the main issues of the WiVTAG case. We have shared this document with all the Parish Councils who are supporting the campaign.