Keeping HGVs moving in Oxfordshire while reducing the impact on local communities
The freight and logistics sector makes a significant contribution to Oxfordshire’s economy, delivering a wide range of goods to shops, businesses and individuals. However, vans and specifically Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) can cause problems for some of the county’s communities they pass through.
To help reduce the impact on local communities, Oxfordshire County Council has launched a free online tool to help freight and logistics companies plan their routes through the county better.
Oxfordshire Freight Gateway is linked to the National Freight Journey Planner and is designed to help logistics managers and drivers of large goods vehicles to select the most appropriate routes for their journeys in Oxfordshire. A suitable route is provided based on the vehicle’s weight and dimensions and journey details.
Sometimes there is no alternative to using less suitable roads, particularly for local access, but using this free online tool is a means for lorries and vans to make their journey without facing difficult manoeuvres and obstructions which may cause traffic delays to the local community and affect local business.
Oxfordshire Freight Gateway helps to:
- improve efficiency of distribution and freight delivery times
- make better use of the existing transport infrastructure
- ease traffic congestion, delays and pollution.
Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport David Nimmo Smith said: "This is a very simple but effective application that will help commercial drivers get to their destinations in Oxfordshire as easily as possible. If they use the Freight Gateway prior to their journey, they will not be taken down roads with weight and height restrictions which are unsuitable for lorries. The Oxfordshire Freight Gateway is a great tool for helping speed up commercial deliveries and easing local roads from congestion.”
Mike Farthing, Principal Trading Standards Officer, Trading Standards Service said: “Heavy good vehicles and their deliveries are a vital part of the economy, and we all benefit from the goods and services they deliver. However, lorries using unsuitable roads can cause a huge amount of disruption and potential damage. This new resource will be a benefit to both route planners and local communities alike.”
How does it work?
Drivers input their start point and destination into the Freight Gateway and the mapping tool will plan their journey using the most appropriate routes designed and customised for commercial vehicles.
It creates the best route for the size and weight of vehicle and can zoom in from UK wide to detailed Oxfordshire street level. It also has all the relevant traffic regulation orders for Oxfordshire built into the software.
Who does it help?
The Freight Gateway provides guidance to drivers new to Oxfordshire and is a valuable aid to logistics planners before they make deliveries within the county. It has not been developed to replace satellite navigation devices (and even feeds into some lorry specific satnavs) but provides an extra level of reassurance to commercial vehicles routing to destinations in Oxfordshire.
Local businesses can signpost customers to the mapping tool from their own websites and make sure that that any deliveries are made to their premises using suitable routes.