A NEW county wide HGV Watch was launched this week, enabling residents to easily report lorries that are ignoring weight restrictions.

The scheme, set up by Surrey County Council, is based on a volunteer initiative that has been running in Chobham since the spring of 2020.

Highways enforcement officers have taken over contacting the owners of offending vehicles, warning them that they could be prosecuted for repeated contraventions.

Previously, volunteers had photographed overweight lorries and recorded their registration number and company details. Then a group co-ordinator or individual tracked down the owner and notified them of the offence.

The Surrey scheme started on Tuesday morning, when Chobham’s county councillor, Richard Tear, and senior traffic enforcement officer Shan Bharadia were the first to record offenders in the village High Street.

“In the space of an hour, seven overweight lorries went through,” said Cllr Tear. “They have all been noted and reported on the county council website.

“It’s taken some time to set up the Surrey HGV Watch, but I’m pleased that it’s now running.

“It will hopefully lead to more offending lorries being reported and fewer huge lorries causing problems in places like Chobham.

“It’s very easy to fill in the form on the website and upload a photograph, and anyone can do it, and you don’t have to be a member of a group to make a report.”

Chobham HGV Watch members have recorded hundreds of lorries that weigh more than 7.5 tonnes breaching the High Street limit since the group was started by former parish councillor Carole Mancini. Many chief executives and transport managers have been contacted and promised to stop their drivers using the road.

“The new HGV Watch community driven initiative whereby volunteers, with the support of Surrey County Council and Surrey Police, monitor HGVS who are found to be driving through weight 
restricted roads across Surrey,” said Shan.

“We will gain crucial evidence on repeat offenders and will act by sending further warnings and escalate to the police should they continue to ignore our warnings.”

People reporting overweight lorries must send at least one clear photograph of the vehicle, plus the location, date and time it was taken and the registration number. Information on the lorry such as a company name and contact details will also help county officers contact the owner.

The report form can be found at www.surreycc.gov.uk – search for HGV Watch. Shan will answer any questions via email at [email protected].