Fears over increased HGV traffic in Shefford

Shefford mayor Paul Mackin

Shefford mayor Paul Mackin - Credit: Archant

A MAYOR has voiced concerns over the increase in the number of heavy goods vehicles going through a town when a new quarry opens.

A MAYOR has voiced concerns over the increase in the number of heavy goods vehicles going through a town when a new quarry opens.

The new quarry, Broom Quarry South on the B658, was granted planning permission in September 2008 by Bedfordshire County Council. It will replace Broom Quarry North, a quarry to the west of Biggleswade, which has been in operation for the last 10 years.

Work to a service road off the B658 has already begun and Shefford mayor Cllr Paul Mackin is concerned about heavy goods vehicles taking a shortcut and going through the town.

He said: “The road is not really suitable for massive numbers of heavy goods vehicles. At present we have an agreement that vehicles travelling to and from the quarry bypass the town. But our concern is the lorries driven by private contractors will want to save on fuel costs and use the shortest route to the A1(M) or M1, which is through Shefford.”

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Shefford Town Council has contacted Lafarge Tarmac but the company cannot say how many of its own vehicles will be used and how many will be contracted, which is where they will have less control. They have been told potentially there could be up to six vehicles an hour.

Cllr Mackin said: “The benefit will see a roundabout built on Stanford Road which will slow vehicles down, and when they have finished quarrying in 10-12 years we will be left with a natural habitat to enjoy, but until then we are concerned that the town will have this extra traffic.”

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Cllr Tony Brown, Central Bedfordshire Council’s deputy executive member for sustainable communities, said: “This planning permission was granted some years ago by Bedfordshire County Council and work has just started. There are conditions attached to the permission, including those around traffic movements. Within Shefford, movements via the town centre will be restricted by the 7.5 tonne weight limit and traffic calming measures, meaning that HGVs will be required to travel via Stanford Road and Bedford Road, joining the A600.”

Traffic movements associated with the mineral extraction at Broom South are not expected to start until August/September.

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