A 40-YEAR wait to ban Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) from Burford ends today.

An 18-month experimental weight limit order through the town centre goes live this morning, with lorries exceeding 7.5 tonnes now forced to find alternative routes.

Residents have called for a ban since the early 1980s, with the measures expected to benefit road safety, tourism and the environment.

Burford Town Council raised £130,000 to fund the measures and its mayor, John White, believes the historic High Street will be boosted by a lack of lorries.

He said: "We're absolutely delighted that the damage done by HGVs over the years will be stopped and high street businesses will be able to carry on unaffected.

“It’s very important that in these Covid-ridden times people who want to stay in Burford can do so.”

Read also: Car parking fees could go up in parts of Oxfordshire

The order bans HGVs from the entire High Street, between the A40 Burford roundabout to the A424/A361 Fulbrook mini-roundabout.

They will also be unable to use Barns Lane from its junction at Burford roundabout, as well as Tanners Lane from the A40.

Residents say that preventing HGVs from using the town centre will help preserve Burford’s £15m tourism industry and reduce air pollution levels.

It will also lessen the damage to listed buildings, which make up 94 per cent of the High Street – the highest percentage in the UK.

The order was passed last July by Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for environment, but delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Findings will be reported to the council`s transport committee after at least six months, while a decision on whether to make the order permanent must be made by February 2022.