‘Road safety is a paramount importance to us’ - Mick George implements ‘no drive zones’ and warning alerts to aid lorry drivers

Police - Day of Action. Cllr Bill Hunt.

Police - Day of Action. Cllr Bill Hunt. - Credit: Archant

A Cambridgeshire haulage company is putting community safety first by creating a ‘no drive zone’ for its lorries, keeping them out of a number of villages around Haddenham and Earith.

Mick George has installed gadgets in all their vehicles to track where and how fast their drivers go. They will also be ordering a 20 mile per hour speed limit in high risk areas.

The approach is being brought in to combat noise, vibration and speeding problems caused by HGVs travelling through smaller local villages.

Joe Gossage, transport manager of Mick George, said: “We’re part of the local community and road safety is a paramount importance to us.

“When we’re in roads that aren’t particularly designed for HGV traffic, then these actions will increase safety and allow the vehicles to run in the environment that they’re built to.

“There is going to be a big financial cost to the company,” he added.

“We’ve increased the number of miles that our fleet have to travel – and that’s without passing the cost on to our customers.

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“Our drivers have a certain amount of work that they have to achieve in the day, but our large team of transport planners will make allowances for that - to ensure that they can meet their targets and they aren’t overworked.

“But this is a small price to pay in comparison to the benefits of reducing disturbance to the local villages and, ultimately, helping to keep our community safe.”

Mick George will use a tracking system which enables them to see, minute by minute, where their vehicles are travelling.

“We’ve also drawn alert zones around certain villages which send our transport officers emails and text message alerts as soon as a vehicle infringes those zones.

“To take it one step further, we’ve put advanced warning alerts on so if a vehicle happens to be travelling through Earith and it’s likely that it could go through to Haddenham, then the advanced warning will alert us to speak to the driver to remind him that he shouldn’t be travelling that way.

“Our drivers understand that we’ve got an obligation to these local communities that we’re working in,” Mr Gossage added.

“Getting other haulers onside is going to be the biggest issue, but we’re leading the initiative and we believe that all haulers should have a responsibility to reduce the impact of HGV’s on local communities and encourage road safety.”

Councillor Bill Hunt, Cambridgeshire County Councillor for the Haddenham Division, said he is delighted by the news.

“I hope all responsible operators will move towards this considerate modus operandi.

“I really am working towards the acceptance that inconsiderate driving of HGVs and fast track tractors through villages harms the safety and quality of life of the residents and is not acceptable.”

Alan James, who is a member of Haddenham’s HGV group, added: “We would like the authorities to put in place, except for delivery or loading, weight limits to keep unnecessary vehicles out.

“That would then make them compliant with the countywide advisory freight map which the local haulage companies are aware of but not all of them obey.”