Traffic study suggests solutions to lorry problems

  |  Published: Sep 30th 2016
Iver High Street
Iver High Street

Redevelopment of one or more of Iver's business parks would significantly cut the number of lorries using Iver, according to a study commissioned by Buckinghamshire County Council.

The study, carried out by Odyssey Markides since June, is the first of a four-phase in-depth look at the area's traffic and transport issues, including the likely effects of major infrastructure schemes in the future.

Heavy goods vehicles are a long-standing bone of contention among residents of the wider Iver area, who have maintained a consistent campaign to cut the number through the village by building a relief road.

And three options for a relief road are among the study's proposals, along with improvements in Iver High Street to control parking.

Deputy Transport Cabinet Member Paul Irwin said the County Council had learned a great deal from the first part of the study.

He said: 'I understand residents have very strong feelings about the traffic issues in the area, and I know many will be looking for a solution now. While these findings collect together a lot of valuable information, we must finish the job to give us a big picture view so that we consider properly researched solutions.'

Paul has set up a steering group to include Iver parish councillors, district and county councillors to examine each of the four study phases, consider ideas and prioritise achievable recommendations.

They will spend the next few months looking at the study's findings, which identified nine key lorry generating sites, measured traffic flows, congestion locations and heavy good vehicle pinch points. It also identified major infrastructure projects that would increase lorry traffic, and recommended a speed limit review.

Study researchers found that while, nationally, lorries make up just over 5% of all traffic, at pinch points in Richings Way and Thorney Lane South the figure reached 20%.

Most of Iver's heavy goods vehicle traffic - around 1,900 movements a day, says the study - is generated at Thorney Business Park, Ridgeway Trading Estate and Court Lane. It's the conversion of one or more of these estates to housing the study says would be necessary to reduce lorry levels.

The study also suggests three options for an Iver village relief road, along with improvements to the High Street, significant packages of improvements in Iver Heath and Richings Park, improvements to the junction and parking outside Thornbridge Road shops, and a station car park at Iver station.

'This is such a wide-ranging and in-depth study, and we need to be real about what will be achievable and when,' said Paul. 'I'm expecting that we'll find some quick wins, but also some much longer-term solutions that will need external funding.

'However, I believe the examination by the steering group of what is a serious traffic and transport study will enable us to properly plan and cost projects, and put us in a strong position to bid for government funding in future.'

Later phases will include a Heathrow expansion study, cumulative impact studies being conducted by HS2 and M4 Smart Motorways and monitoring of the experimental closure of Hollow Hill Lane.

The full study report is available on the County Council website: www.buckscc.gov.uk/transport/scheme-and-projects/iver-traffic-and-transport-study/

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