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Major review of lorry use in Suffolk villages planned

PUBLISHED: 07:20 12 October 2019

A truck gets stuck in Woolpit in 2016. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

A truck gets stuck in Woolpit in 2016. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

Highways chiefs in Suffolk are on the verge of starting a major review of the county's lorry routes, amid growing concerns over truck movements in small villages.

Suffolk Highways said the issue of lorries in roads they shouldn't be had escalated. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSuffolk Highways said the issue of lorries in roads they shouldn't be had escalated. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A board of senior highways officers and cabinet member Mary Evans will meet next month where the issue is set to be discussed, after requests for the issue to be more tightly managed.

While no formal timeline has been set out for the review, the board's November meeting will discuss the problem and what steps need to take place.

It is understood that could include a working group, detailed research or other methods, and could discuss measures such as tougher sanctions on trucks using inappropriate routes and fresh conversations with haulage firms to educate drivers on the importance of using specified routes.

Conservative cabinet member Mary Evans said: "Suffolk County Council is responsible for the Suffolk Lorry Route plan.

Mary Evans confirmed the issue was on the agenda with her highways board next month. Picture: GREGG BROWNMary Evans confirmed the issue was on the agenda with her highways board next month. Picture: GREGG BROWN

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"While we do not have confirmed timescales for carrying out a review of lorry routes at this time, as it is a significant piece of work, we understand how much of an issue disruption caused by HGVs has become in some areas of Suffolk.

"I can confirm that the Lorry Management Plan will be on the agenda at the next Highways Improvements and Innovation Board in November, where officers will discuss how this could be taken forward."

According to highways insiders, the issue has become more prevalent with increased numbers of HGVs on the roads and the inability to ensure truck drivers follow diversion signs when there are roadworks, as many attempt to use local knowledge or their own routes.

Among the issues lorries in small villages cause are noise complaints, snared roads and even damage to buildings in some cases.

In June, it emerged that Suffolk's bid for funding to bypass four villages in East Suffolk had been rejected by the Department for Transport.

The route, which planned to bypass the A12 around the villages of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham, aimed to help those communities which suffered from heavy traffic on the A12, and aid the villages as greater traffic was anticipated from the Sizewell C project.

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