A BAN on HGVs in Burford will continue to at least February, it has been decided.

The ban has been divisive ever since it was approved in July 2019 and implemented last August.

The Burford Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) is for vehicles weighing more than seven and a half tonnes.

An Oxfordshire County Council report provides an interim update on the scheme, following the end of a public consultation that drew to a close in February.

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Using the report and officer’s recommendations, the council’s cabinet member for travel and development strategy – Duncan Enright – decided to continue with the ban until February, to allow for ‘further monitoring’ this autumn.

Mr Enright said: “My decision is we should go ahead with all these recommendations.

“We want to help our equestrian firms with transport and livestock transport too, and get more detail such as extra data on where the HGVs are going.

“Let’s hope we can come up with a scheme that is better for all.”

A final decision on the scheme will now be made in January.

The ban is designed to promote road safety, reduce damage to roads and buildings, and cut congestion.

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Speaking at the council meeting yesterday, county councillor Andy Graham – who represents the Woodstock division – said the ban was however having an impact on the town.

He said: “The effect of the increased number of HGVs in Woodstock continues to be significant.

“Like Burford, Woodstock has a significant number of listed buildings.

“Some of the pavements in Woodstock are already very narrow and dangerous for children walking to school.

“Air pollution is also a constant worry – the Burford ban is not the answer.”

The council’s leader, Liz Leffman, said more information and data on where HGVs were rerouting was needed.

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The council report however states there has been little change in the number of HGVs in Burford High Street.

It read: “When referring to the success criteria, the interim data shows that overall HGV volumes at Burford when comparing 2019 with 2021 do not meet the 50 per cent reduction criteria.

“The same volume of HGVs is recorded at A361 Burford before the ETRO was implemented, as there has been after.

“This data appears to show the ETRO has made no difference to the total volume of HGVs traversing Burford High Street.”

The consultation, which ran from July of last year to February, saw 395 responses received by the council.

Of those responses, 180 were in support, while 213 objected or had concerns about the impact of the ban.

Two responses were neither in support, nor objection.