Lorry crash ‘could have killed someone’

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An action group calling for HGVs to avoid narrow village roads has said it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

A Co-op lorry crashed into Clare Pharmacy in Well Lane as it attempted to make a delivery to the town’s store shortly before 9am on Friday.

The collision caused scaffolding outside the pharmacy to collapse, resulting in damage to the building and the neighbouring newsagents.

Fortunately, no-one was injured in the incident, which resulted in traffic delays for those entering and leaving Clare.

Bob Verguson, chairman of the Stour Valley Lorry Action Group, which campaigns against the use of HGVs through villages such as Clare, said the crash should be treated as a warning.

“It is not the first time a building has been struck and The Bell pub seems to get hit continuously,” said Mr Verguson, who lives in Clare.

“Not a month goes by without an incident and it just shows that the roads through Clare cannot take this type of vehicle.”

After being struck by the lorry, the 30ft of scaffolding, which had only been up for a day, scraped its way down buildings, damaging the front window frame of the pharmacy. It also left three large gouges in Saai Stationers.

“The scaffolding coming down in the street was very dangerous,” said Mr Verguson, who lives in the village.

“Thank heavens the pharmacy did not collapse.”

Pharmacy staff were not inside the building at the time of the crash.

Muthaih Sriharaon, who has owned the newsagents for four years, said the town had long complained about the impact of heavy lorries.

Sarah Pugh, from Sea Pictures Gallery in Well Lane, said the crash had been “quite spectacular”.

She said the lorry had reversed into the scaffolding after misjudging the angle when negotiating the tight corner.

“Because Well Lane is so narrow, it causes problems,” said Mrs Pugh.

“The lorries are too big for the road and this highlights that. At least it was not any worse and it was just property, which can be mended.”

Mr Verguson said the crash would be used as evidence to show a Traffic Regulation Order was needed to move lorries from the A1092 on to alternative routes, including the A1124, A131, A143 and A14.

He said 1,500 people had signed a petition in support of this and a CCTV survey of HGV useage, along with photographic evidence was to be compiled.

“We have had so many warnings but the county council doesn’t want to know,” said Mr Verguson.

“Something has to be done or someone is going to be seriously injured or killed. It is today’s traffic on yesterday’s road and it is blighting not only Clare but other Suffolk villages.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said its highways teams had been in detailed discussions with Clare Town Council about the problem, but there was no easy solution as there were “no viable alternative routes” for lorries to take.