Ways to tackle problems with lorries in Norfolk villages to be explored

Councillors, residents and Elizabeth Truss MP at Market Street in East Harling. They say there is a

Councillors, residents and Elizabeth Truss MP at Market Street in East Harling. They say there is a major problem with lorries trundling down the street there. - Credit: Submitted

Councillors have stopped short of calling for a Norfolk-wide review of which roads lorries should be allowed to use.

Roads are covered by what is known as a route hierarchy, which is supposed to discourage vehicles, such as HGVs, from using certain roads.

The hierarchy in Norfolk was established in the 1980s at a cost of more than £10m, but has not been reviewed since the early 2000s.

And critics say the volume of lorries - along with their size - has increased since then, while villages have changed too.

Members of Norfolk County Council's environment, transport and development committee discussed the issue today.

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The meeting room at County Hall was filled with people from villages such as East Harling, who have long called for an end to lorries trundling past their homes.

A motion was put forward by Conservative Martin Wilby to explore stopping lorries from using the B1111 in the west of the county. Except for access, it would shift them onto the A11 and A1066.

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Stephen Askew, Conservative county councillor for Guiltcross, which includes villages such as East Harling and Garboldisham, told the committee: 'The situation has become untenable and the status quo is no longer an option.'

But Denis Crawford, UKIP councillor for Thetford East, sounded a note of caution.

He said: 'I see the problem and think something needs to be done, but as it reroutes it through my division I do have a problem with that. We have a lot of traffic in Bury Road and we need more information before we put this through.'

The committee agreed to ask officers to explore what to do about the B1111 and to consider further reviews in other parts of the county where HGVs are a problem in villages.

But they choose not to ask for a full review of the route hierarchy, after officers expressed concern over the implications of such a move.

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