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Weight restrictions to prevent HGVs from using towns in Oxfordshire as a rat run could be introduced if funding is secured from local businesses.

A vote for the introduction of environmental weight restrictions by councillors at Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) was agreed earlier this week, but it was also acknowledged that there was unlikely to be any money available to fund the move.

In a motion brought by councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, it said: “The county council will consider environmental weight restrictions across the county, particularly areas which are subject to significant levels of HGV traffic, prioritising the towns of Burford, Chipping Norton and Henley-on-Thames.

“However, the county council is very unlikely to have any funding available for this in the coming years so any schemes would need to be funded through development and/or by local communities, businesses and town/parish councils.”

The motion added that Henley was subject to “significantly high levels of HGV traffic.”

Gawrysiak said: “Henley has a bridge which unfortunately is too strong, so you can’t put a weight limit on it.

“You could land a jumbo jet on this bridge and it wouldn’t affect it at all.

“Therefore, you want an environmental weight limit.”

Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles supported the motion and said lorries had been a problem for many years: “I do believe this council cannot continue to kick the HGV issues and the heavy contribution that HGVs make to air pollution into the long grass any longer,” she said.

However, councillor Neville Harris voted against the proposal: “It’s a very complex situation,” he said.

“If councillors think that a strategic road goes to every village shop in the county then they are very much mistaken.”