Villagers Worried About More Lorries On Local Roads
PUBLISHED: 09:49 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 04 May 2010
WORRIED villagers claim that county council plans to allow gravel extraction to continue near Earith and Mepal will put thousands more lorries on already struggling local roads. Residents in Haddenham, Wilburton and Aldreth have told Cambridgeshire County
WORRIED villagers claim that county council plans to allow gravel extraction to continue near Earith and Mepal will put thousands more lorries on already struggling local roads.
Residents in Haddenham, Wilburton and Aldreth have told Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) that its new Mineral and Waste Plan will cause them misery as the number of lorries that thunder past their homes increases.
Villagers believe that the A1123 road that runs through all three villages will become badly damaged and overused as lorries look to take the shortest route to reach the quarries in nearby Earith and Mepal.
County councillor for Haddenham villages Bill Hunt, said: "I appreciate that the county council is trying to implement a number of measures that will keep lorries off of the A1123 but I just don't think that it will work.
"With the current economic situation as it is and with drivers on tight time schedules it is inevitable that they are going to want to use the quickest route possible and that is the road through the villages.
"I think that villagers are going to suffer with extra traffic thundering past and shaking their homes and the infrastructure is not in place to deal with it. I don't think there should be any more growth without infrastructure."
A ruling by CCC late last year set down that the busy A1123 road was not to be used as a priority route for heavy commercial vehicles. Though, that ruling is still in force many believe that drivers will avoid using the more suitable A10 to save time.
The vehicles will be travelling to and from the Block Fen area of Mepal and Earith which has become one of the key centres for gravel extraction in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The Government requires the authorities to provide around 2.8 million tonnes of sand and gravel a year to support growth in the region and excavation is expected to continue at the site until 2026.
Planning officer at Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) David Atkinson, said: "We have already got a routing agreement in place with one HCV operator and we are in negotiation with another. We are aiming to have legal agreements in place with a number of other operators also to ensure that we are doing all we can to minimise the number of HCV vehicles using the smaller routes.
"We would urge anyone with concerns about the plan to visit our exhibition at the Arkenstall Centre in Haddenham where we will have officers on hand to answer any questions."
Residents will have a further chance to have their say on the plans on March 4 at the Arkenstall Centre in Haddenham.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Are you concerned about the impact of more lorries on the roads around these villages.
* the average house requires 60 tonnes of sand and gravel to build.
* 98,000 new homes are planned for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in the next 20 years.
* Cambridgeshire and Peterborough must provide 2.8 million tonnes of sand and gravel every year.
* There are estimated to be around 24 million tonnes of sand and gravel at the Block Fen/ Langwood Fen site.
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