Highways England step in to tackle traffic problems in Hockliffe

Traffic on the A5 in Hockliffe on Friday night when traffic was diverted by Highways England to the A505-A4146 when the M1 was closed
Traffic on the A5 in Hockliffe on Friday night when traffic was diverted by Highways England to the A505-A4146 when the M1 was closed

Frustrated Hockliffe residents have expressed relief that Highways England has stepped in to tackle the traffic and noise problems they have been suffering from for months.

Along with Hockliffe Parish Council and Andrew Selous MP, they have been trying to solve the massive traffic problems on the A5 through the village.

Last week, Highways England designated the A505-A4146 as the official diversion route for ongoing roadworks on the M1 when it was closed, but many vehicles ignored the diversion and still drove along the A5 through Hockliffe.

Residents continued to complain to Highways England and now Martin Fellow, Highways England regional director for the East, has contacted the parish council and some residents to inform them of the latest measures to address this problem.

Highways England has confirmed it has obtained a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order to put a weight limit on the A5 and has been paying for police to support this which should prevent HGVs coming through Hockliffe.

M1 roadworks planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday have been pulled due to Silverstone expecting record crowds for the British Grand Prix.

That work will be rescheduled for next week.

Highways England is also looking long term at detrunking the A5 through Hockliffe.

Ross Davison lives in the village and complained to Highways England on several occasions about the noise and the amount of traffic driving through the village.

He told the LBO: “On Tuesday we finally got some sort of a resolution. As I type this there are hardly any cars or HGVs passing the house. The house is not shaking and my daughter is still asleep.

“This was following a visit from Martin Fellows, Regional Director-East region. He has taken many phone calls and read many emails and has actually taken our concerns on board, so credit where it’s due.

“Rachel Capstick and Richard Alexander are two of the parish councillors who have really been on top of everything and pushing Andrew Selous to fight our cause.

“There are many more influential people that have all pulled together and it’s been fantastic to see a small community truly stand its ground.

“Let’s all keep everything crossed that this works. If it does all work, then please feel free to thank Martin and those at HE who are really working to help us.”

Councillor Richard Alexander, of Hockliffe Parish Council, said: “This has been great news for us, and after two nights of sleep for the first time in what’s seems an age, we are grateful for all the work Highways, Andrew Selous and the local councils have done to help since.

“The majority of our problems started with the opening of the link road, increasing traffic what seemed to be ten-fold.

“Added to that we have had all night works for new cats-eyes and road repairs that have created lumps in the road, creating excessive noise and violent shaking of our homes.

“Then the M1 closures followed sending the entire M1 traffic through our village over these ‘rumble strips’ as they were coined, resulted in what has been a nightmare year for the residents of Hockliffe.

“It always made sense to us to use an existing road structure that was better suited than the current A5.”

> MP Andrew Selous has today raised the problem in the House of Commons. See https://www.leightonbuzzardonline.co.uk/news/mp-andrew-selous-proposed-solution-to-hockliffe-traffic-problems-in-parliament-1-8557880