Hitchin scrapyard lorry ban ‘at standstill’

16:32 05 May 2012

One of the lorries leaves the yard

One of the lorries leaves the yard

Archant

PLANS to introduce an overnight lorry ban in a residential area blighted by HGV movements have reached “a standstill”.

Officers and councillors at North Herts District Council (NHDC) and Herts County Council (HCC) met last Thursday to discuss options to stop lorries causing trouble for residents in the Wallace Way and Cadwell Lane area of Hitchin.

Residents have said that the number of lorries accessing Metal and Waste Recycling, based on the industrial estate, are causing them problems. As well as accessing the site, lorries are parking overnight in their roads, blocking driveways and access, it is claimed.

But the meeting, which councillors hoped would reveal a solution for a lorry park for vehicles to park overnight, did not come up with any answers to the problems.

County council officers have now gone away to examine some more.

NHDC councillor Lisa Courts, who was at the meeting, said: “We’re back to square one. We’re just trying to find the right way of doing this.

“Personally, I would like to see a town wide ban for lorry parking at night. But they’re saying the cost of that is too much. But it shouldn’t be down to costs, it should boil down to quality of life for residents.

“It’s still very much up in the air, at a standstill.”

At the meeting, a traffic survey supported claims that HGVs were parking in Wallace Way long before 7am.

But, as it was not established whether the road was private or belonged to the county council, officers will have to check who has responsibility before proceeding with a ban.

A suggestion to put a lorry park in Wilbury Way was not supported.

“To me, that is not acceptable. Verulam Road, Grove Road, they all would suffer,” said Cllr Courts, who added that she also supported a link road being used.

Cllr David Billing, also at the meeting, said: “The main problem is that a local ban would just move the HGVs parking to other streets. So we need to decide how large an area an overnight ban would have to cover to avoid that happening in residential areas.

“The group remains committed to finding a solution and a further meeting will be called in a few weeks when more information is available.”

While the group continues to meet, an appeal launched against a High Court decision to not impose any restrictions on the site is making headway.

The appeal must be heard before November this year, although a date has not yet been set.

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