Merlin Way weight limit to be reintroduced next week plus Kingfisher Drive
Earlier this evening, Cllr Dale Heenan delivered a letter to residents in the Merlin Way area to update them on what is happening to the road. Below is a copy of the letter.
I am pleased to let you know that a new weight restriction will be reintroduced on Merlin Way next Wednesday!
At the start of last month, I updated you on the situation surrounding the end of the 7.5 tonne Weight restriction on Merlin Way. As part of the update, I highlighted that work was continuing to see if there was a legal way for the weight restriction to come back and Council officers have agreed that it can, and should, be reintroduced. Details can be seen on www.eastswindon.com
Local residents now have six months to write into the Council to either support, or object, to the new weight restrictions. If local residents do not support this Traffic Regulation Order then the weight restrictions will expire again in 18 months’ time.
How do I support the new weight restrictions to become permanent?
Any local resident who wishes to support the weight restrictions must write to the council quoting the reference (ZA/TRO/Kingfisher Dr or ZA/TRO/Merlin Way) and specify why the restriction should stay. For example, use firstname.lastname@example.org so your message is officially recorded.
Any emails that I receive on email@example.com will be passed onto the Council Highways team for logging, and taking into account.
Please remember only two residents wrote in to support the original Merlin Way weight restriction. If this happens again, I am afraid Cllr Kevin Parry, Cllr Richard Hurley and I are unlikely to be able to do anything else!
What is happening on Merlin Way?
The new 7.5 tonne weight restriction on Merlin Way will be Swindon’s first based on for banning HGV’s along a road between certain hours of the day. HGVs will not be able to use Merlin Way:
- Monday to Friday from 6pm to 7.30am
- Saturday from Midnight to 8am and 2pm to Midnight
- All day Sunday
This change is not ideal, but it does allow the HGV ban to continue and address the objections raised under the original Traffic Regulation Order.
What is happening on Kingfisher Drive?
The original weight restriction on Merlin Way expired after the legal maximum period of 18 months was reached, and due to the number of objections received by the Council could not be continued.
This restriction was implemented to tackle HGV’s using Merlin Way and Kingfisher Drive to cut through Covingham to reach places like Dorcan Industrial Estate. The correct signposted route is Oxford Road, Dorcan Way.
Officers accept that there remains a case to tackle this issue, and therefore agreed to move the weight restriction from Merlin Way to Kingfisher Drive. A ban on HGV’s using Kingsfisher Drive has the same effect, and HGV’s will not be able to use Merlin Way and Kingfisher Drive as a through road to Dorcan Way.
What about Construction traffic?
Several residents have highlighted the fear of future construction traffic using Merlin Way from 2017 onwards because of the New Eastern Villages. This is a key concern of ours but please be assured that no planning applications for housing has been approved yet, and are still some months away.
No HGV’s will be able to use Merlin Way outside of the hours listed in the traffic regulation order, whether construction related or not, so it is crucial that local residents write in to support the new restrictions. If this traffic regulation order expires in 18 months before any construction starts then there is very little left that anyone can do.
How do we make sure the restrictions are properly enforced?
It is the responsibility of the Police to monitor, and enforce, the use of Merlin Way and Kingfisher Drive by HGV’s that breach the two weight restrictions.
I have already spoken, and written, to the new East Swindon Police Inspector and hope to meet him shortly. This includes lobbying for new ways for the Police to enforce without it being a burden on police officers dealing with anti-social behaviour and crimes. The weight restrictions being short stretches of road mean that is simple and effective to monitor, so long as the Police officers are available.
In the meantime, if you spot a HGV breaching the weight restrictions, please let us know with as information as possible. The license plate and time will be important to follow up.
How do I find out more?
Please feel free to contact Cllr Kevin Parry, Cllr Richard Hurley or myself to discuss any part of these weight restrictions, or any other local issue.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Dale Heenan
Councillor for Covingham and Dorcan