A Covenant between local communities and Commercial Vehicle Operators in Cambridgeshire to reduce noise, pollution and increase safety is being supported by Cambridgeshire County Council.

The document has been developed for the benefit of local parishes and community groups who were concerned by the impact lorries and other large vehicles were having on their villages.

The Covenant, which Hauliers will be approached to sign, sets out an agreement covering what communities will expect haulage companies and their drivers and what they will do in return.

Mick George Ltd has committed to minimising the impact of their lorries on local communities and is the first company to have signed up. They have also introduced a series of measures to ensure their drivers adhere to the Covenant.

Cllr Steve Criswell, local member for Somersham, Colne and Earith, where Mick George vehicles are particularly active, said: "I welcome this positive initiative and the relationship Mick George is keen to develop with us locally. Where there is no alternative to travelling through villages, we need to ensure the impact is reduced as much as possible."

Cllr Roger Hickford, Chairman of Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We all know of instances where communities have felt their village is being used as a short cut by large heavy vehicles creating noise and pollution. Local authorities have worked to help through conditions on planning applications and other measures to make sure these actions are curtailed. However we know more can be done.

"This is why we fully support this Covenant led by local communities as an excellent way of tackling these issues. By Parishes approaching operators to ask them to sign up to the Code of Conduct, an agreement and partnership will be created which I believe will make a real difference. It is fantastic that Mick George has already agreed to sign up and we hope many more companies come forward in the months to come."

The text of the Covenant:

As a commercial company that operates large vehicles in Cambridgeshire, we are aware of the impact our vehicles can have on local communities, including:
"¢ noise
"¢ vibration
"¢ pollution
"¢ risk to life
We recognise that these factors can be exacerbated by inappropriate or excessive speeds or if unsuitable or environmentally insensitive routes are chosen.

Therefore, in an attempt to mitigate these impacts we will seek to:
"¢ cooperate with local communities to identify and address their concerns (as far as is possible)
"¢ adhere to agreed HCV routes, as appropriate to our vehicles
"¢ observe weight and speed limits, as appropriate to our vehicles
"¢ observe self-imposed lower speed limits where these are an appropriate response to community concerns
"¢ address any report of inappropriate behaviour by our drivers

In return we expect community groups to:
"¢ approach us directly with any concerns relating to our drivers/vehicles
"¢ provide regular feedback on the effectiveness of this scheme in addressing the communities' concerns
"¢ anonymise any data collected that is made publicly available, except with our prior consent.


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