'Pedestrians and lorries do not mix' - Calls for weight restrictions as HGVs ignore new £7m relief road
PUBLISHED: 13:38 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 24 January 2019
Lorries are continuing to travel through a small market town instead of using a new £7m relief road - prompting calls for weight restrictions to be brought in.
Last year the Beccles Southern Relief Road was officially opened after decades of campaigning.
The 1.2 mile road joined the A145 London Road to Ellough Road – meaning the HGVs which have plagued the town centre had an alternative route.
However, many lorry drivers are still opting to travel through the narrow streets of Beccles instead of driving around.
Town councillor Graham Elliott said: “The new road has made it better but what we want to do is maximise the benefit of the road.
“It’s not about the lorries serving the town; local businesses have nothing to worry about.
“But there is no point in a lorry coming through our historic town centre when it can go around with a lot less stress for the driver and be safer for the people of the town.”
In December, Beccles Road Safety Group, of which Mr Elliott is a member, began a series of surveys to assess the scale of lorry movements through the town.
The first survey, undertaken during the closure of Station Road, recorded a small number of lorries passing through the town.
But the second, when all roads were fully open, noted a “significant number of lorries” still choosing to travel through the town.
Mr Elliott said: “Lorries are incompatible with a thriving town centre that is pedestrian and people friendly.
“Pedestrians and lorries do not mix. There are still a significant number of lorries travelling through the town that should be using the new relief road.
“These early survey results clearly show there is a case for weight limits to deter lorries from using the town streets unnecessarily.”
Fellow safety group member and mayor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw added: “We have had success getting the A145 routed around the town and more recently we have managed to get improved signage to encourage traffic to use the new relief road and avoid the town centre.
“The focus now is trying to establish whether weight limits are needed to deter the lorries that ignore the signs and travel unnecessarily through our town.
“These short surveys clearly show there is a need for weight limits.”