It's time to get tough on the lorries flouting Farnham’s HGV ban with first mobile – and later permanent – enforcement cameras and fines, says Surrey County Council leader Tim Oliver.
Speaking at last Friday’s Farnham Infrastructure Programme board meeting, Cllr Oliver revealed 901 HGVs had been recorded breaching the 7.5-ton weight restriction in Castle Street, Folly Hill and Upper Hale Road over a nine-month period.
This resulted in 317 written warnings, plus a staggering 523 “couldn’t be followed up partly because they were registered overseas”, said the county council chief.
A further 61 were found to have permitted access because they were delivering to the town centre.
Most offenders were recorded by Farnham’s HGV Watch volunteers in the morning, between 9am and midday.
Reacting to the figures, Cllr Oliver (Conservative, Weybridge) said there had not been “sufficient compliance” since the restriction was first imposed in June 2021.
He set out plans for better signs alerting drivers to the HGV restrictions, particularly in Hampshire, and “recognised the need for some camera enforcement”. This would initially take the form of regular visits by a mobile ‘camera car’, but the council would ultimately pursue a more permanent solution with a fixed camera.
A six-week consultation on camera enforcement will begin in October, said Cllr Oliver.
He added “conversations” with HGV operators about the imminent increase of enforcement of the weight restriction will commence “in the very near future”.
Councillor Catherine Powell (Farnham Residents, Farnham North) expressed her thanks to the HGV Watch volunteers for capturing data on offending lorries, and to Surrey for “supporting local people”.
The speed of HGVs through her division in Upper Hale presented “real safety concerns”, she said.