Lorries putting old buildings at risk

PUBLISHED: 17:35 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 14:08 10 May 2010

Weight limits on traffic going into Saffron Walden.
Saffron Walden.
September 10, 2008.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: The road showing 7.5 tonnes vehicle weight restriction signs.

Weight limits on traffic going into Saffron Walden. Saffron Walden. September 10, 2008. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: The road showing 7.5 tonnes vehicle weight restriction signs.

LORRY drivers who enter Saffron Walden illegally - and put some of the town s oldest buildings at risk - are being targeted in a new campaign. Drivers of massive trucks who flout the weight-restriction rules existing on some of the town s roads could face

LORRY drivers who enter Saffron Walden illegally - and put some of the town's oldest buildings at risk - are being targeted in a new campaign.

Drivers of massive trucks who flout the weight-restriction rules existing on some of the town's roads could face fines of £1000.

Cllr Alastair Walters said: "There are clear signs warning drivers of the restrictions, but they continue to ignore them.

"This campaign is very good news indeed for Saffron Walden, and in particular for those residents living in Bridge Street and Castle Street, a conservation area where so many of our historic dwellings are located."

It is illegal for vehicles of more than seven-and-a-half tonnes in weight to enter Saffron Walden via the B184 and Windmill Hill road.

This limit is being enforced by Essex County Council Trading Standards as part of the countywide Essex Truck Watch campaign.

Companies and drivers caught breaching the orders will be given written warnings. Further action will be taken against repeat offenders, with the maximum penalty being a £1000 fine.

"Bridge Street is one of the narrowest roads in Saffron Walden and there is one house that has been hit four times in the last three years," said Cllr Walters.

"These large lorries - many of which are from Europe - rumble through the streets creating a suction effect as they go past. The air vibrates against the buildings and can cause significant damage."

Lorries that exceed the weight restriction can enter Saffron Walden on the alternative Newport route which is sign-posted.

The seven-and-a-half tonne limit does not apply to vehicles exiting the town via Windmill Hill.

A vehicle activated sign (VAS) will soon be installed near to the Little Chesterford roundabout warning lorry drivers that it is their last chance to turn around before they reach the restricted section of road.

The VAS will be triggered by lorries which are more than a certain length, which is a good estimation of a vehicle's weight.

With the cooperation of the Saffron Walden Business Forum, advice letters have been distributed to drivers and businesses explaining the weight restriction orders.

For more information on Essex Truck Watch call their helpline on 0845 404 0506 or visit www.essex.gov.uk/truckwatch.

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