Will a Child Have to Die?
A MOTHER has said it is just a matter of time before someone is killed, claiming a large piece of metal fell from a scrap lorry and hit her car. Kate Buckland who lives on Grove Road, Hitchin, near to two scrap yards, found a two-foot piece of met
A MOTHER has said it is just a matter of time before someone is killed, claiming a large piece of metal fell from a scrap lorry and hit her car. Kate Buckland who lives on Grove Road, Hitchin, near to two scrap yards, found a two-foot piece of metal lying in the road by her car which had a damaged wing.
She said: "If this had hit a pedestrian rather than a parked vehicle the consequences would have been extremely serious - someone would probably have been killed.
"This once again highlights the issue of insufficient access to Hitchin industrial estate and the real threat that people living along Grove Road are facing by huge lorries carrying scrap metal without the correct protective nets being present.
"We have two small children and are in constant fear that one of the lorries will crash or shed part of its load while we are walking along the road to school. This incident highlights the real danger we face daily."
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Neighbouring scrap yard, H Williams and Son, said that none of their vehicles were operating that morning, but they were open for business.
John Rice, director of Metal and Waste Recycling which manages the Williams plant, said: "The law requires the load to be safe and we are subject to the same laws in terms of what we are required to do. The problem we have got here is that 90 per cent of lorries that come to us we've no control over. The first we would know about an unsafe lorry is when a lorry arrives.
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"We do not allow unsafe lorries to leave our site and we try to make sure anybody who comes to us is working within the law - we will draw attention to it if we think someone is wrong."
Roy French, manager of neighbouring scrap yard SITA, who were not open for lorries that morning, said: "Our lorries all have netting and we don't allow lorries to leave the yard with unsafe loads. Our first priority is safety.
"Unfortunately there are those people who just want to get from A to B who don't think about people's safety."
PC Andrew Hadden from Hitchin Police said: "We are aware that there have been issues with overloaded lorries passing through Grove Road to get to the scrap yard. We will always pull over a lorry that looks like it is carrying a dangerous load and check it, but would also ask people to contact police immediately with the number plate details and exact location if they believe they see the same."
A spokesman for North Herts District Council said: "Officers and members are aware of residents' concerns about traffic in the area and a potential new access road is being considered as part of the Hitchin Traffic Plan.
"The majority of points raised are outside the council's remit but we are very aware of the situation. Officers and councillors are working closely with the relevant agencies and with residents to address the issues.