Calls repeated for new road after Hitchin lorry incident caused hours of disruption
PUBLISHED: 18:11 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 18:42 21 August 2019
A lorry shedding its load of heavy machinery in a Hitchin street a week ago saw motorists in the town face more than seven hours of disruption - leading a councillor to repeat her call for a new road to be built.
The incident, which happened last Wednesday afternoon in Grove Road, saw heavy machinery fall from a lorry on to the side of the road.
One man was injured in the incident, but was quickly discharged by ambulance crews as his injuries were neither serious or life-threatening.
Police attended and closed the road from the junction of Woolgrove Road to the junction of Bury Mead while the vehicle was recovered.
Grove Road was closed from shortly after the incident happened at 1.50pm and was not reopened by police until 9.30pm.
This was partly due to concerns that the collision had led to a gas leak, so closures remained in place as a precaution while the situation was assessed.
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A number of households in Grove Road were evacuated for a short time while investigations into the gas leak were taking place.
Following the chaos, Herts county councillor Judi Billing - who represents Hitchin North - said: "The incident in Grove Road is a stark reminder that action must be taken to remove industrial lorries from residential streets in Hitchin.
"I've been aware for a long time about the awful likely blockings when industrial premises are located to close to residential areas. I've already commissioned a study about the building of a new road.
"Now we need both the district and county councils, as well as the government, to get behind this and make it possible to build the new road as quickly as possible."
Amid the disruption, community spirit was still in force, as charity Feed Up Warm Up - which hosts its weekly drop-in for the homeless and disadvantaged at the nearby Hitchin Scout Hut - offered their services to some drivers who had been stuck in the traffic for four hours.
Organiser Shane Cole and another volunteer handed out bottles of water and leftover pizza to drivers and police, who were attending to the road closure.
Residents also offered those who were stuck a place to stay, while one stuck lorry driver was given his own mug of tea.