Volunteers sign up to new Beccles Lorry Watch Scheme

PUBLISHED: 07:30 08 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:40 08 August 2014

Northgate, Beccles.

Northgate, Beccles.

Archant © 2005

Fifteen volunteers have signed up to form a new Lorry Watch Scheme in Beccles.

The scheme, which is supported by Suffolk County Council, empowers residents to prevent goods vehicles from breaching weight restrictions in their community.

Peter Canfer, Suffolk’s Trading Standards officer responsible for the scheme, visited Beccles last week to train the volunteers to become observers and report potential illegal access. Beccles deputy mayor Hugh Taylor, coordinator of the scheme, said: “I was very pleased with the turnout and since then I have been told of a couple more people who are interested in joining.

“The system only applies where there are weight limits but there are four areas in Beccles and if someone sees what they believe to be an overweight vehicle passing over a restricted area they are asked to write down the time, place, number plate and company details.”

Observers are also asked to provide, if safe to do so, a photograph of the vehicle. The four roads in Beccles which carry the weight restrictions are Northgate, Beccles Old Bridge, Grove Road and Gosford Road, although the introduction of the Beccles Southern Relief Road could bring in further restrictions. The scheme is already running in Bungay.

Mr Taylor said: “There is a lorry problem in Beccles because we get a lot of heavy lorries coming through the town. A lot of them are allowed to and we are hoping that the new relief road will help the issue. But we have got various areas where there are restrictions and it is a long standing issue for residents.”

Details of vehicles misusing a route are handed to the town co-ordinator for checking before being sent to Suffolk Trading Standards. They then obtain the correct weight of a vehicle to ensure no identification mistakes have been made. Details of the registered keeper will be obtained and a letter will be sent to the driver. Suffolk Trading Standards will then make a decision as to what action is necessary.

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