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Long-awaited vehicle weight restriction implemented on narrow Lavenham road to address concerns about HGV traffic

An experimental vehicle weight limit has been implemented at Water Street in Lavenham. Photo supplied by Carroll Reeve. (6558943)
An experimental vehicle weight limit has been implemented at Water Street in Lavenham. Photo supplied by Carroll Reeve. (6558943)

An experimental vehicle restriction has, at last, been installed on a narrow lane in Lavenham, in the hope of addressing residents’ long-standing concerns.

Suffolk Highways implemented a vehicle weight limit in Water Street on Tuesday, which will now prohibit access by vehicles above 7.5 tonnes, except for deliveries or collections.

Villagers have long called for this limitation, due to the quantity of large HGVs using the road as a shortcut, but the project has been hit with numerous delays.

The scheme will now remain in place for 18 months, after which it must become permanent or be withdrawn.

Carroll Reeve, Lavenham Parish Council chairman, said they will be monitoring the scheme, and will welcome any feedback from residents on its effectiveness and appearance.

“This action has been taken in response to numerous instances of damage being caused to buildings by large vehicles,” he said.

“There have also been complaints from residents and visitors that they feel fearful of large vehicles when walking in Water Street.

“The difficulty remains that Water Street and High Street are part of the A1141.

“This route is seen by some guidance systems, or word of mouth between drivers, to be a shortcut from the A134 near Cockfield to the A1171 near Hadleigh.

“Such guidance systems do not take account of the nature of a road.

“Suffolk Highways has installed signage at these junctions, but these are not mandatory.

“We have asked officials to add to these signs, as further discouragement to drivers of large vehicles.”

Mr Reeve added that the parish council is also looking into options to address inconsiderate and dangerous parking on pavements around the village.


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