Rail and road freight is food for thought

County coun­cil invit­ing busi­nesses and res­i­dents to plan how to con­trol num­ber of lor­ries on main routes

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

RES­I­DENTS and busi­nesses are be­ing in­vited to help plan how to han­dle fu­ture rail and road freight in Buck­ing­hamshire.

Heavy lor­ries make up be­tween 10% and 20% of traf­fic on main routes through the county and, with a steady in­crease in freight fore­cast over the next decade, county coun­cil trans­port plan- ners want to pre­pare for the fu­ture.

They are ask­ing peo­ple to help them iden­tify lo­cal prob­lem ar­eas, ex­plore un­tapped op­por­tu­ni­ties and pin­point so­lu­tions.

A 10-minute on­line snapshot sur­vey will run for the next fort­night at www.buckscc.gov.uk/ freight to al­low res­i­dents and busi­nesses to feed into their thinking. The re­sults will in­form a draft strat­egy for full con­sul­ta­tion later in the year.

Paul Ir­win, deputy cab­i­net mem­ber for trans­port, said his team needs to chart how things have changed with the way freight is trans­ported, as Buck­ing­hamshire has de­vel­oped in the past decade, and pre­pare a blue­print for freight for the fu­ture.

He said nearly a quar­ter of what comes into the county by lorry is food and drink for res­i­dents.

As the county grows, so will the vol­ume of that essen­tial goods traf­fic.

“Shop­ping on­line has re­ally taken off over the past decade and now ac­counts for 14% of what we buy,” said Cllr Ir­win.

“In the next three or four years, that is fore­cast to grow to around 22%, which will add to the num­ber of de­liv­ery lor­ries driv­ing around the county.

“We’re work­ing with res­i­dents and busi­nesses on this crit­i­cal ques­tion now so they have an early op­por­tu­nity to in­flu­ence the de­vel­op­ment of a new strat­egy, which will make freight work for Buck­ing­hamshire with­out im­pos­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate costs on them or our unique en­vi­ron­ment. We want to keep Buck­ing­hamshire thriv­ing and at­trac­tive.”

The sur­vey is avail­able in Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil’s web­site ‘have your say’ sec­tion at www.buckscc.gov.uk/ freight

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