PLANS to redirect lorries away from the centre of Chipping Norton would help to lower air pollution, but could infringe upon an ancient monument.

County councillors unanimously approved plans for a ban on heavy goods vehicles driving through the centre of the west Oxfordshire town at their meeting on Tuesday.

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The ban proposed by Chipping Norton councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles would either be in the form of a weight restriction on the A44 as it runs through the town, or a lorry route around the town.

Ms Hibbert-Biles’ motion said there are health and safety issues for residents of Chipping Norton due to HGVs driving through the town.

During the meeting, she said there were regular queues of traffic in the town as lorries tried to squeeze past buses and cars on roads around the main market square.

Oxford Mail:

The centre of Chipping Norton is plagued by HGVs according to councillors. Picture: Google Maps.

Her motion said Chipping Norton has been an air quality management area since 2006, with air quality above EU acceptable limits and one of the highest in Oxfordshire.

It added: “There is also a safety issue where two A roads merge into a narrow road unable to take an HGV and a car travelling in the other direction and narrow pavements. There have been two deaths and a serious accident in recent years.”

Ms Hibbert-Biles suggested money from the development of the council-owned Tank Farm could fund measures to impose a weight limit or lorry route.

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The proposed lorry route around the town would likely be via the Rollright Road, north of the town.

Mike Tysoe, of Chipping Norton Town Council, spoke in support of the route but acknowledged the route could have an impact on the Rollright stones, a collection of Neolithic standing stones which border on the road.

He said said the health of Chipping Norton’s residents had to be weighed up against the heritage left by their ancient ancestors.

Oxford Mail:

The A44 through Chipping Norton could become out of bounds to lorries. Picture: Google Maps.

Henley councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said he would support the motion but asked if there was a way to streamline similar schemes across the county.

Councillor Liz Leffran said OCC needed to make sure a ban on lorries in the town was enforced properly.

Cabinet member for the environment, Yvonne Constance, said a trial ban on HGVs in Burford was currently in place.

READ AGAIN about the lorry ban in Burford here

She added: “The difficulty in Chipping Norton is finding at alternative route. The Rollright Road could be an alternative and could hold HGVs.”

As the motion passed, Ms Hibbert-Biles said Chipping Norton would be grateful for the ban.