How to keep HGVs on the A-Roads

Addressing the problem of construction traffic on the “Western Corridor”  Station Lane / Salt Lane / Markwick Lane

Suggested options – a document for discussion

Aim:

To restrict HGV through-traffic using this 8 mile route from A3 at Milford to Cranleigh / Dunsfold and the reverse route.

Requirements:

To permit local deliveries

To permit emergency vehicles

Not to impinge normal traffic

To be simple and low impact on the rural landscape.

To provide option for those HGVs that approach the Restriction and need to turn back.

To be located where it can not be circumvented by side routes.

To minimise pushing HGV traffic onto other unsuitable routes.

As I see it we have a number of options:

1 – Current system of blue advisory “Unsuitable for HGVs” signage for the whole route.

Signs are ignored.

This has a limited deterrent effect as HGV drivers have a get-out excuse that they were using the route for “local deliveries”.  My experience shows that many HGVs that have a regular use of this route are for the construction industry or bulk oil tankers that are destined for sites and depots at Cranleigh and Horsham.

There are no non-domestic addresses on Markwick Lane so few HGVs are destined for deliveries on Markwick Lane.  Few deliveries could be not achieved by using A-roads.   Many HGV drivers follow non-HGV Sat Navs and so Markwick Lane is often displayed as the shortest route.

2 – 7.5t Restriction Signage in replacement for the Blue advisory signs.

A deterrent

This will have a much greater deterrent to HGVs as there is no “advisory get-out” they can invoke, and they’ll know their haulier’s tracking system will corroborate their incursion beyond the signs.  There is an argument that this is unenforceable – we are not looking for any more enforcement than we see for the current blue signs.

The deterrent that comes with an unequivocal restriction is the primary strength of this option.

3 – NPR and average speed tracking

If CCTV was installed at the East entrance to Markwick Lane (or even better at Cranleigh / A281 crossroads ) with a similar “NPR gate” at Station Lane/ Church Road junction at Milford it would act as a deterrent to HGVs using the route.    Vehicles entering a gate would see their partial plate number displayed (flagging that they will be tracked to the exit gate and the calculated in/out time would demonstrate if they were a legitimate local delivery or using the route as a cut-through. It would also act as a speed calmer.     This has advantages of being low impact on the rural landscape.  It has an initial capital outlay, a technical challenge of installation, and ongoing cost of running the system.  

4 – Physical width restriction point on the route.

Deterrent and self enforcing

The width restriction would comprise a 2-way, bollarded width-limiter.  This will have a much greater deterrent to HGVs and is self enforced by a width-restriction bollard at a single point on the route. 

It will need to be supported by effective, consistent signage at Cranleigh crossroads and Milford crossroads, and all junctions onto the restricted through route.


Option 4 in detail:

Suggested width restriction position and advance warning signage locations

My suggested location for the physical width restriction point is the junction with Clock Barn Lane and  Hydon Heath – for the following reasons:   

This location is the only location that has no other junctions and circumventing opportunities to the East.   Alternative locations would require multiple bollard installations.  The current road junction has plenty of tramaced space to construct a 3 lane restriction point (2 width restricted lanes, 1 emergency access Lane) and offers turning opportunities. Alternative locations don’t have these advantages.  

View location on Google Maps.

How does Option 4 achieve the requirements?:

Advance warning

A key part of this suggested scheme is the updating of Sat Nav databases and advance warning signs – at Milford Crossroads and Cranleigh Crossroads on the A281.  This would ensure HGVs are warned in advance whilst they are still on A-roads and minimise the risk of them transgressing onto rural routes. This would protect Hascombe and B2130.

To permit local deliveries

As there is just one bollarded restriction local deliveries can be achieved from accessing the 8 mile route via the East or West depending on the relative location of the destination address on Markwick Lane.  This avoids the need for allocating bollard keys to delivery drivers. 

I am mindful that some HGVs need to access the Tuesley Farm business near Milford and to Dunsfold Airfield in the East.   This legitimate traffic would not be prevented by the width restriction.

To permit emergency vehicles

A barriered emergency only lane at the bollarded restriction would allow emergency vehicles to pass through the restriction. This can be key entry or passcoded.  This does mean the width restriction point will be 3 lanes wide, 1 barriered, 2 width restricted.  All alternative locations would require substantial land encroachment to build 3 lanes.

Not to impinge normal traffic

If the restriction point is three-bollard/two way then normal traffic will not be impinged, although it will have a traffic calming effect. The suggested location is currently national speed limit. There may be an argument in extending the Hydestile 40mph limit to Hydon Heath to encompass the approach to the width restriction.

To be simple and low impact on the rural landscape.

A single restriction would have a minimal impact, especially if it includes a revision of the junction layout.

To provide option for those HGVs that approach the Restriction and need to turn back.

Some HGVs may ignore all the advance warning signs of a width restriction and travel to the restriction bollards.  The Hydon Heath suggested location does have an ‘escape” route for HGVs to turn around if they approach the restriction. This would be down Clock Barn Lane.  For HGV’s approach from the East then there is less convenient option to back into the Car Park entrance.  All other location alternatives have little opportunity to provide such a turnback option.

To be located where it can not be circumvented by side routes.

This location is the only location that has no other junctions and circumventing opportunities to the East. Effectively the restricted zone will be for 4 miles East to the Marckwith Lane / Hascombe Road junction.   Alternative locations would require multiple bollard installations.

To minimise pushing HGV traffic onto other unsuitable routes.

Currently HGVs are predominantly travelling East- West and West- East. There are no alternative viable rural cut throughs other than through Hascombe, which offers little advantage over the A281 – so we should encourage HGV route decisions to be made whilst they are still on A-roads.   If the advance warning signs are consistent and placed at Cranleigh crossroads and Milford Crossroads (rather than only at Markwick Lane) then vehicles will be making their alternative  A-route decision there. This will greatly minimise the number HGVs drivng to the Markwick Lane/ B2130 junction and then making a decision to go North through Hascombe.    Advance warning signs will also need to be placed on between Cranleigh crossroads and Dunsfold Airfield as a lot of HGV traffic will emerge from the Airfield intending to head West.

Suggested layout and design

www.GU8Superfast.co.uk

Paul Osborne June 2019