Burford HGV Appeal
When did lorries/trucks/wagons and artics become HGVs? I blame Brussels! For 50 years Burford has fought for removal of HGVs from the High Street but on 18 July 2019 a 7.5 tonne weight limit was finally approved by Oxford County Council (OCC). This is fantastic news as, apart from deliveries to the Town and permit holders, 400-600 HGVs a day will find alternative routes. OCC is reserving the right to withdraw the weight limit if significant problems occur elsewhere, which we seriously doubt.
The ambience of Burford will change. Our medieval properties will not be relentlessly shaken. Residents and guests will sleep undisturbed at night. As you criss-cross the High Street you will not be threatened by HGVs thundering down the hill.
The two lanes of traffic on the High Street should flow more easily. HGVs physically damaging corner buildings will cease. Air pollution will drop by 50%. Our schoolchildren’s health and education will improve with lower pollution. It will be illegal for HGVs to go down Barns Lane and Tanners Lane not just advisory.
There is a big catch though. A condition of approval was that all costs are borne by Burford Town Council; signs, enforcement and prosecution, which total £150,000. We simply do not have resources to fund these costs so we are launching a fundraising appeal. We are also approaching councils on the A361 in Oxfordshire and nearby Gloucestershire to contribute.
Burford Town Council has contributed £20,000 to the appeal. Chipping Norton Town Council have already said they will contribute. Our County Councillor, from his distributable funds from OCC, has contributed £15,000. Local charities have so far promised £4,000. Some local house owners have already spontaneously contributed £2,000 each. We are off to a flying start but there is a long, long way to go.
I write here to ask you to contribute substantially towards this appeal. Any donation will be gratefully received. We aim to complete fundraising by year end.
Should we fail in fundraising there is no other significant alternative that I can foresee to reduce the destructive effects of HGVs on Burford which will be available for the next 50 years. Hydrogen-powered HGVs would be our only hope.
John White - Mayor