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.


  1. ^ [email protected] (

Jersey: ‘deeply embarrassed by this nonsense’ – reactions to jingoism from papers

The Jersey fishing dispute were the main stories in Friday’s right leaning national papers.

The authorities in Jersey[1] have promised further talks to help resolve the row, but the French government hit out at a “British failure” to abide by the terms of the UK-EU trade deal and warned it would “use all the leverage at our disposal” to protect the fishing industry.

The European Union also accused Jersey of breaching the deal signed by the UK and Brussels.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said efforts would be made to resolve the dispute with Emmanuel Macron’s government and the EU.

“What we have done is make very clear to the French ministers who said some very unwise and disproportionate comments that we will stand with the people of Jersey,” the Cabinet minister said.

Last night ex-speaker John Bercow slammed the Government’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’ on Question Time.[2]


Well certain newspapers, didn’t take Bercow’s approach, and saw this argument as a great way to do a spot of warmongering with a series of jingoistic headlines.

The Sun cheers the Navy seeing off the protest around the Channel Island’s main port, St Helier, under a fish-themed headline of “Take sprat”.

The Daily Star runs with “‘Allo ‘Allo! French fishermen retreat after Brexit battle”.

The Daily Mail says French fishermen executed a “familiar manoeuvre”, calling it “Le grand surrender”.

And Metro calls the fishing skirmish a “Smash & crab”, reporting on the “French retreat” after a British boat was rammed.

Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph reports on the “battle of the lobster pots” but leads on the end of facemasks in classrooms.

The Daily Express splashes on forecasts of a strong rebound for Britain’s economy, saying it is set to grow at its fastest rate in 70 years.

The Times leads on same story, while also reporting people younger than 40 will be offered alternatives to the AstraZeneca vaccine.








Related: “Like one of those hostage videos” – reactions to Johnson casting vote with Carrie Symonds[37]

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Staffless betting shops: the future for retail?

Related Articles

The Irish retail betting landscape has come up against its fair share of challenges in recent years, with the introduction of a 2% tax on turnover over €2.5 million, the absence of a central gambling regulator and most recently the closure of all non-essential shops.

But despite these hurdles, fixed costs have remained at a steady level (and in some cases, have increased). 

Colm Finlay is the Founder / Director of BetXS – a subsidiary of Orchadia Systems. He told SBC News that between 85-90% of outgoings for ‘traditional’ shops are fixed, however an increased focus on variable costs can help bring a ‘breath of fresh air’ to the land-based sector.

He said: “Needless to say that the self-service, staffless shops operate on a much lower cost basis when compared to their traditional, manned shop counterparts. What’s happened in Ireland and the UK over the last 10 years or so is that as fixed costs have increased, certain towns and villages no longer have the population base for which to support those shops with high fixed costs. 

“If you look over here in Ireland, it’s not permissible to do single-manning because you’re expected to give your staff breaks after every three of hours of work done. After five hours of work, they are then permitted to take a full hour lunch break. The effect of that is that you can’t really operate a shop on a single-man basis. 

“When you then apply that to the quota of hours that a betting shop can open over the week, you’d really need four or five labour units to keep a betting shop open. From an Irish perspective that’s €100,000 – €110,000 in costs which are fixed and have to be serviced. 

“When you then bolt on the €47,000 in fees to media rights holders, the money that has to be paid to landlords and all of the other fixed costs associated with a manned shop, your fixed costs are exceeding the €200,000 mark with a few variable costs.”

He shared that a shift towards automation and “use of efficient and reliable technology” can help alleviate any risks of human error – with costs equating to approximately 35-40% of traditional shops. These costs, Finlay continued, are expected to drop even further through negotiations with rights holders such as SIS and TRP.

“With BetXS operating between 35-40% of the cost basis, with further decreases to those levels when we have a proper revenue-share / turnover-based arrangement in place with the rights holders, those costs will drop even further,” he continued. 

“What will then happen is that these remote communities can get their betting shops back. From a horse racing perspective, that’s great news. The expected revenue in terms of incomes for horse racing and for the Exchequer has dropped to zero. But we’re going to turn those zeros into something.” 

Now open in Rathcoole, Kilbeggan and Ballivor, all BetXS shops are run on a remote basis – with CCTV, shutters, security systems, displays and lights all controlled using a fully automated solution – and all bets placed and settled via self-service betting terminals (SSBTs). 

But with no carriage of goods, Finlay believes that the Irish land-based sector could wholly benefit from the roll-out of automated betting shops, bringing with it a whole host of benefits for local communities.

He added: “We don’t have a carriage of goods. Betting shops are so well suited to this model. Say if I was to have a shop in Cahersiveen in the ring of Kerry, that shop just has to open up tomorrow – I don’t have to bring any horse racing down there in a horsebox, unlike grocery shops I’m not having to unload a refrigerated lorry full of goods. 

“The broadband carries the content from whatever race track or football ground and brings it into these remote locations. Having no carriage of goods is great and it makes betting shops much more suited to automation – it makes betting shops much more viable.”

When it comes to responsible gambling measures, the BetXS Founder addressed the need for advanced facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence to identify and verify the age of a customer. 

The SSBTs[1] feature high-resolution biometric cameras which require a one-time sign up for bettors which appear to be under the age of 25. 

Finlay also highlighted the cross-network self-exclusion system, with that data then distributed across all Orchadia Systems shops – something which can help reduce levels of problem gambling. 

“Safer gambling is where I truly believe that Orchadia Systems is in a completely different league to the incumbent way of doing things,” he said. “From my experience as an experienced betting shop worker, I’ve received those self-exclusion forms from customers who no longer wish to bet. It’s not a very nice thing for the customer to have to endure. 

“We used to hand out an A4 sheet of paper where bettors had to fill in their name, address etc. They then had to attach a copy of their passport photo which was stapled to the form. This would disencourage people from submitting these details. It’s a very intrusive thing to do – especially given how tough it is for people to recognise that they have a problem gambling issue. 

“At Orchadia Systems, players can self exclude via their mobile application. They don’t need to speak to anyone. What is better is that this is then subsequently deployed to a network of shops operating on the Orchadia Systems platform. 

“That means a customer could call into a betting shop in John o’Groats, self exclude, jump on an airplane to Land’s End, walk into a betting shop and will also be instantaneously self-excluded.”

Reaffirming his belief that responsible gambling is at the front and centre of Orchadia Systems’ operations, Finlay went on to discuss the company’s plans to introduce budgetary, time and sport constraints.

He explained: “Where we step it up even further is that we’re not just limited to self-excluded. In our development pipeline, we’re working on introducing budgetary constraints. If a player is paid on a Friday evening, they go to the pub and try back a few winners – but by Saturday morning, all of their wages could be spent.  

“What we’re planning to do is enable the customers to set constraints – whether that be budget, time, or even sport. These are the kind of problem gambling tools that the industry really needs.

“Self-exclusion is not really a viable solution under the current system. Orchadia Systems[2] aims to change that by bringing a proper, meaningful safer gambling environment to punters all over Ireland, the UK and on a global scale. We’re not stopping here in Ireland, we’re taking this even further – that’s where our aspirations are.” 

With it increasingly likely that fixed costs for bookmakers will increase in 2021 in the wake of the pandemic, the prospect of automated betting shops can act as a cheaper, easier way for betting operators to reach their audience. 

From a bettor’s perspective, these shops can remodel the entire customer journey, with increased opening times and easy-to-use SSBTs meeting the needs of the tech-savvy punter. 

So as the retail sector looks to bounce back from the events of 2020, staffless, automated betting shops could become the ‘new normal’.


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Emmerdale exit hint for Jimmy King as he plans to plead guilty for Paul’s death

Emmerdale could be lining up a surprise exit for long-serving character Jimmy King, judging by new spoilers.

The ITV soap favourite found himself charged with death by dangerous driving recently, after a devastating crash last month.

Actor Nick Miles has been on the show since 2004, but could he be making a shock departure?

Jimmy will leave his wife Nicola King mortified when he confirms his intentions following his recent charge, blaming himself over Paul Ashdale’s death.

Paul died after Jimmy crashed his lorry into the farm building he was in with Liv Flaherty, after he veered off the road at high speed.

Emmerdale could be lining up a surprise exit for long-serving character Jimmy King
Emmerdale could be lining up a surprise exit for long-serving character Jimmy King

Jimmy was worried something was up with Nicola and that son Carl was being kidnapped, leading to him speeding back to the village in low sunlight.

Unable to see ahead, he crashed straight into the building injuring both Paul and Liv, before the lorry and the barn exploded.

Jimmy and Liv barely survived, while Paul later died from his injuries.

Jimmy will leave his wife Nicola King mortified when he confirms his intentions following his recent charge
Jimmy will leave his wife Nicola King mortified when he confirms his intentions following his recent charge

The police have charged him with death by dangerous driving, and a guilty Jimmy decides to accept his fate and admit blame.

Speaking to Nicola, he reveals he plans to plead guilty to the charge which could carry a long prison sentence.

But does this mean we could be bidding farewell to the character soon?

Liv is hiding the fact she left an injured Paul in the barn and didn't help him
Liv is hiding the fact she left an injured Paul in the barn and didn’t help him

He isn’t the only one feeling the guilt, as Liv is hiding the fact she left an injured Paul in the barn and didn’t help him just before the explosion.

She will relapse in upcoming scenes, turning to alcohol to try and forget her actions which will soon be exposed – while fans will argue her actions were warranted given he was beating her up in the barn just as the crash happened.

Viewers will have to stay tuned to see how it all pans out!

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.