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Freight zone consultation looks to lighten the load around villages near Leighton Buzzard

Plans for Buckinghamshire’s first ever ‘freight zone’ to control the movement of HGVs in and around the Ivinghoe area take a step closer today (May 7) with the start of a four-week public consultation on the detail of the legal traffic regulation order.

Proposed for the areas around Ivinghoe, Cheddington and Mentmore, the zone sits within defined boundaries, east of the A418, north of the A41 and west of the B489, and follows two years of research, monitoring, discussions, public engagement and detailed planning with the local community.

The traffic regulation order (TRO) proposes a 7.5 tonne weight limit on vehicles travelling through the zone, however, there will be an exception for vehicles travelling to destinations within the zone. This means deliveries and collections to local homes and businesses can continue unaffected.

Lorry at Brownlow Bridge near IvinghoeLorry at Brownlow Bridge near Ivinghoe
Lorry at Brownlow Bridge near Ivinghoe

Monitoring in November 2019 showed an average of 254 HGVs per week passed through the proposed zone, heading for destinations further afield, nearly half (47%) of the total HGV traffic in the area.

Buckinghamshire Council’s Corporate Director for Planning, Growth and Sustainability, Ian Thompson said that the zone would bring benefits to the community and encouraged people to take part in the consultation and give their views.

“A zone like this can clearly reduce the level of traffic by removing a significant number of HGVs that simply pass through the area. The TRO will help reduce the negative impacts on local residents, buildings and the environment, while of course still allowing local lorry deliveries to be made.

“Over the next four weeks, we want to hear from anyone who might be affected to give their views on the detail of the proposed TRO to help us finalise arrangements.”

Mr Thompson added: “Subject to the feedback received, the scheme could be fully operational later in the year which would be great news for everyone.”

Public engagement on the concept of the freight zone took place early last year and was widely supported by local residents, businesses and community groups. It included dialogue with parish councils, local councillors and businesses, along with exhibitions and a survey which received 332 responses.

Alternatively you can email comments to [email protected][1] or by writing to: Ivinghoe Freight Zone Consultation, Design Services, Transport for Bucks, Aylesbury Vale Area Office, Corrib Industrial Park, Griffin Lane, Aylesbury, HP19 8BP. The consultation closes on June 3.

References

  1. ^ [email protected] (www.leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk)

Fury as Amazon lorry driver who rammed van gets off scot-free

The driver of a van which was nearly rammed off the road by an Amazon lorry in Derbyshire says he is furious the man behind the wheel won’t be prosecuted.

Adrian Kowalski was left fearing for his life when the lorry driver tried to run him off the road[1] in a shocking incident on November 18, last year.

The incident, which was caught on dash-cam by a vehicle behind, happened near the M1 at Barlborough, near Bolsover,[2] and saw the driver of the 44-tonne vehicle chase after him and swerve onto the wrong side of the road.

Footage shows the HGV[3] forcing the 52-year-old van driver to take evasive action to avoid a horror crash during the terrifying incident.

Amazon later confirmed the driver of the lorry had been sacked while Derbyshire police investigated.

However, Mr Kowalski, who is from Burton-upon-Trent, says he has been left gobsmacked after learning the driver will not be prosecuted and has been offered a place on a driving course instead.

On Wednesday, May 5, Mr Kowalski said he thought the decision not to prosecute the driver was unduly “lenient” and criticised it for instead offering the driver a spot on a £180 Safe and Considerate Driving course.

Dash camera footage showing the lorry nearly ramming into the van
the lorry nearly forced the van off the road (Image: Richard Madin / SWNS)

In a letter to Adrian, the Derbyshire police[4] admitted there was enough evidence to justify a prosecution but court action would do nothing “to correct poor driving habits.”

Mr Kowalski said: “You get a worse punishment for doing 36mph in a 30 zone than when you try and ram someone off the road in a 40-tonne vehicle.

“It wasn’t an accident. I remember road rage before used to be quite serious and now it just doesn’t seem to be.

“It just seems like he’s getting away, a half day course just seems very light and lenient.

“I received the letter last week and I thought it would be asking me to come to court. It was a bit of a shock, to be honest.

“I’ve got 14 days to reply if I think there are any mitigating circumstances so I’ve made a few notes and I’m currently deciding what to reply.

“I am definitely going to reply as that’s too lenient for someone who tried to do that.

“He tried to run me off the road and chase me down and was even on the wrong side of the road.

“Even a fine and points would be better than this.

“I think in America it even classes as attempted murder and they would have locked him up.

“I don’t know what the sentence options are but this seems to be so mild. Maybe the courts are backed up and that’s the reason behind it.

“This whole incident has made me wary and I never had a dash-cam till this happened.

A picture of Adrian Kowalski, who was driving the van
Adrian Kowalski, the driver of the van, says he was left shaken by the incident (Image: Adrian Kowalski / SWNS)

“I’m a lot more cautious when I come to junctions and it’s not just about Amazon lorries either.

“I am going to email back as I don’t think it’s right but I want to see if I can find out what the possible sentences are before I go jumping in there.

“I would like to see what the options are but I am not happy.

“I’ve driven for 35 years and never seen anyone in a lorry driving like that – I was absolutely gobsmacked.”

The letter states the driver will be offered the educational course, which he will have to pay for, before completing a practical driver assessment to a satisfactory level.

He will only face prosecution if he refuses to attend the course or is involved in a similar incident three years within three years of its completion.

It states: “Whilst there is sufficient evidence in this case to justify a prosecution, there is no provision in law for a Magistrate to offer such restraining and the imposition of a fine and penalty points will not do anything to correct poor driving habits.”

A Derbyshire Police spokesperson said: “Following an investigation into the incident the driver of the lorry was offered a safe and considerate driving course.

“Derbyshire Constabulary participates in the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme – which seeks to improve the education of drivers who have committed driving offences.

“Courses are offered to drivers who have committed offences that, after a review, are deemed eligible based on a strict set of national criteria.

“Should the course not be undertaken by a certain date then the matter will be taken to court where a range of further sanctions can be imposed.”

References

  1. ^ when the lorry driver tried to run him off the road (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ Bolsover, (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  3. ^ Footage shows the HGV (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  4. ^ Derbyshire police (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)

Lorry driver’s death could be linked to Liverpool ferry journey

A lorry driver who had to travel from Liverpool via ferry for work died after contracting legionnaire’s disease.

Kevin Budd, 53, was admitted to the Royal Stoke University Hospital on August 27, 2018, after holidaying in Skegness.

He complained about experiencing shortness of breath and died days later on September 2, 2018.

An inquest heard his cause of death was given as diffused alveolar damage, legionnaire’s disease, and leukaemia.

Stoke-on-Trent Live[1] report the dates and incubation period of the disease indicate he may have caught the disease during a work trip that took him through Liverpool.

His job also involved travelling to North Wales and Ireland.

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Speaking in conclusion of the inquest in Stoke-on-Trent, the jury forewoman said: “Whilst on holiday Mr Budd became ill with a cold.

“Returning home his condition worsened. His condition got worse and he was admitted to hospital on August 27, 2018.

“He was placed into critical care. He was ventilated and placed into a coma and never regained consciousness.”

She added that the jury concluded that the legionella came “from an unspecified area”.

Doctor Nicol Coetzee, a consultant specialising in communicable diseases, was notified that Mr Budd had received a diagnosis of legionella on August 28, 2018, and began an investigation to find the source.

This consisted of tracing Mr Budd’s movements over the days where he was most likely to have picked up the disease, and cross checking it with data from places he visited to see if any cases were active in those places at the time of his visits.

These included trips to Ireland via ferry, setting out from Holyhead to Dublin, and returning via Liverpool.

No traces of legionella were found in any of the places that Mr Budd had visited over the last six months, or within a six mile radius of his home address in Stafford.

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But on September 7, 2018, five days after Mr Budd passed away, the ship Stena Adventurer, which is in the fleet that runs the route from Holyhead to Dublin, undertook a routine water sampling which found extremely high levels of legionella.

In one sample, they were over nine times the level designated as unacceptable.

The ship was given a “super-chlorination” in accordance with normal procedure, in which chlorinated water is flushed through the whole system to clear out any unwelcome microbes lurking in the water supply.

Lesley Cave, who works for the county council regulating water supplies, confirmed that she was requested to undertake the inspection as part of normal routine and that after the procedure it had once more reached a safe and acceptable level.

Ms. Cave was unable to say if Mr Budd travelled on the Stena Adventurer, and the cleaning process meant that it was impossible to confirm if the strain found on the ship was the same that Mr Budd contracted.

However, no other potential contacts were traced during Dr. Coetzee’s investigation, leaving open the possibility that Mr Budd may have contracted the disease during his ferry ride from Holyhead to Dublin.

Speaking in a statement to the inquest, pathologist Dr. Karthik Kalyanasundaram outlined legionella. He said: “Legionnaire’s disease is a severe pneumonia.

“Although this disease is an uncommon form of pneumonia data have shown that it is 2 to five times more common in men than in women.

“40-50% of cases are related to travel.”

Mr Budd was born in Wokingham on August 20 1965 and worked in the armed forces for 25 years as an electrician before entering civilian life as an HGV driver, a job which involved a great deal of travel.

References

  1. ^ Stoke-on-Trent Live (www.stokesentinel.co.uk)
  2. ^ just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)

Amazon driver won’t face court over terrifying dashcam clip

An Amazon lorry driver who nearly forced a Burton van man off the road will face no court action, it has been revealed.

Van driver Adrian Kowalski said he was left shocked that the driver had escaped facing any charges and had only been asked to attend a driving course instead.

The 52-year-old van driver said he was left fearing for his life when the lorry tried to force his van off the road[1] during a shocking incident which was caught on dash-cam.

The heart-stopping near miss took place on November 18 last year after the 44-tonne truck followed Mr Kowalski down a road near the M1 in Marlborough, Derbyshire, Birmingham Live Birmingham Live reports.[2]

Footage shows the HGV swerving onto the wrong side of the road before veering towards Mr Kowalski’s vehicle causing him to take evasive action to avoid a horror crash.

The online retail giant confirmed at the time that the worker had been dismissed while Derbyshire Police launched an investigation.

A picture of Adrian Kowalski, who was driving the van
Adrian Kowalski, the driver of the van, says he was left shaken by the incident (Image: Adrian Kowalski / SWNS)

But this week Mr Kowalski was left gobsmacked to learn the driver had been let off without any charges.

In a letter to him, the force even admitted there was enough evidence to justify a prosecution but court action would do nothing “to correct poor driving habits”.

He has now blasted the police’s “lenient” decision to punish the driver with a £180 Safe and Considerate Driving course.

He said: “You get a worse punishment for doing 36mph in a 30 zone than when you try and ram someone off the road in a 40-tonne vehicle.

“It wasn’t an accident. I remember road rage before used to be quite serious and now it just doesn’t seem to be.

“It just seems like he’s getting away; a half day course just seems very light and lenient.

“I received the letter last week and I thought it would be asking me to come to court. It was a bit of a shock, to be honest.

“I’ve got 14 days to reply if I think there are any mitigating circumstances so I’ve made a few notes and I’m currently deciding what to reply.

“I am definitely going to reply as that’s too lenient for someone who tried to do that.

“He tried to run me off the road and chase me down and was even on the wrong side of the road.

“Even a fine and points would be better than this.

“I think in America it even classes as attempted murder and they would have locked him up.

“I don’t know what the sentence options are but this seems to be so mild. Maybe the courts are backed up and that’s the reason behind it.

“This whole incident has made me wary and I never had a dash-cam till this happened.

“I’m a lot more cautious when I come to junctions and it’s not just about Amazon lorries either.

“I am going to email back as I don’t think it’s right but I want to see if I can find out what the possible sentences are before I go jumping in there.

“I would like to see what the options are but I am not happy.

“I’ve driven for 35 years and never seen anyone in a lorry driving like that – I was absolutely gobsmacked.”

The letter states the driver will be offered the educational course, which he will have to pay for, before completing a practical driver assessment to a satisfactory level.

He will only face prosecution if he refuses to attend the course or is involved in a similar incident within three years of its completion.

It states: “Whilst there is sufficient evidence in this case to justify a prosecution, there is no provision in law for a magistrate to offer such restraining and the imposition of a fine and penalty points will not do anything to correct poor driving habits.”

A Derbyshire Police spokesperson said: “Following an investigation into the incident the driver of the lorry was offered a safe and considerate driving course.

“Derbyshire Constabulary participates in the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme – which seeks to improve the education of drivers who have committed driving offences.

“Courses are offered to drivers who have committed offences that, after a review, are deemed eligible based on a strict set of national criteria.

“Should the course not be undertaken by a certain date then the matter will be taken to court where a range of further sanctions can be imposed.”

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References

  1. ^ tried to force his van off the road (www.staffordshire-live.co.uk)
  2. ^ Birmingham Live reports. (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ here (www.staffordshire-live.co.uk)
  4. ^ here (e.staffordshire-live.co.uk)