A plan by Hampshire County Council to cut freight movements across the county’s highways by banning truck movements on Sundays has been slammed by the RHA.

The plan is part of the council’s policy to reduce the county’s carbon emissions.

The strategy also proposes a new rule to stop HGVs from overtaking on motorways in the region.

The report, published on the council’s website, suggests the strategy should include a move to “ban the movement of HGVs on a Sunday on highways, except for recovery vehicles (as has been done in Germany – for many years) along with other European countries” and to “ban HGVs overtaking on motorways – as in Germany – to help implement heavy goods transportation corridors".

Duncan Buchanan, RHA policy director, slammed the proposals and warned that the HGV ban would increase congestion and pollution levels during the week.

He told “Hampshire County Council’s idea to ban HGVs from operating in the county on Sundays is absolutely wrong because you then concentrate all the traffic into six days, creating more congestion and pollution, so it does not make any rational sense.

“Additionally Hampshire contains Southampton Port - one of the UK’s premier ports - which relies on HGVs servicing the many cruise ships that dock there and if they cannot deliver on a Sunday then these ships will not be able to operate.

“So these proposals are bad for the environment and bad for business and show a level of ignorance that is totally unacceptable in the people making these policy decisions.”

Hampshire County Council said the action plan had yet to be refined before going before the council’s cabinet for approval at the end of September.

A spokeswoman added: “Each action will need further detailed investigation as to its viability and feasibility before it is included in the final plan."