Lavenham calls on county council to meet new date for HGV restriction on historic street
Councillors seeking a weight limit on a Lavenham road afflicted by HGV traffic say communication between Suffolk Highways and the community must improve, if the issue is to be addressed.
Residents have been frustrated following repeated delays to the implementation of a limit in Water Street – a narrow lane that has experienced a number of traffic blockages and property damage over the years, as a result of large vehicles using it as a shortcut.
The calls for a trial weight restriction were first put forward years ago and funding was allocated, but it has not yet materialised, with Lavenham Parish Council confirming the most recent deadline of April 30 had passed without any work taking place.
But a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council stated the authority is now working to bring in the new measures before the end of the summer.
“We apologise for the inconvenience caused to local residents,” she said. “However, we are glad to be able to announce the completion of the experimental traffic regulation order in Water Street, Lavenham.
“The order will be made by late July and will enable work to take place by mid to late August.
“This work will include installation of road markings and traffic islands.”
Robert Lindsay, county councillor for Lavenham, told the Free Press the announcement was good news if true, but he would still take it with “a large pinch of salt”, because of the succession of promised dates that had not been followed through on.
He also claimed there was an “endemic issue” of lacklustre communication and project management within the highways department that needed sorting, stating he still had no response to his query about how the council will be monitoring traffic in and around Water Street before and during the trial.
“It is astonishing that highways have not had the courtesy to inform me, nor Lavenham Parish Council, nor the residents we represent, despite repeated requests,” he said.
“For the scheme to be a success, highways will have to improve its communication with the community.”
Carroll Reeve, chairman of Lavenham Parish Council, echoed this sentiment and said the “proof of the pudding would be in the eating” as to whether it happens.
“Promises are made and then they are being broken,” he added. “It’s very frustrating and we wish they would just get on with it.”