A group of wrattled Nelson residents have appealed to the local council to prevent “hazardous” 3.5-ton lorries careening past their homes.
Plagued by the persistant passing of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), since 2015 residents of Messenger Street in Nelson have been desperately searching for a compromise that will allow the passage of imposing delivery vehicles to the nearby industrial estate on Southfield Street without causing a disruption.
Jan Smith, who lives in the area, has insisted that the council’s solution of erecting advisory signs stating the roads are unsuitable for HGVs has failed, as such signs are unfortunately being ignored as the drivers contend that there is no alternative access.
The issue is caused by cars parked legally along the HGVs’ route, forcing them to use residential streets - such as Messenger Street, Windsor Street, and Wenning Street - to gain access to the industrial estate.
“What residents are arguing for is double yellow lines to be put on this section of the road,” explained Jan, who believes this will funnel all HGVs away from residents’ homes.
“[But] the council states that traffic restrictions are only considered in accident zones and this situation does not fall into that category,” Jan added. “We argue that it does.”
In response, Simon Bucknell, Senior Traffic Engineer at Lancashire Highway Services, said: “The signs are advisory [and] therefore unenforceable. Restrictions will only be considered where there is an existing accident record and where measures would bring casualty reduction benefits.”
“One resident [on] a disability scooter stated that she has been forced off the road by the passage of HGVs,” said Jan, who is also critical of the central government over the matter. “Children play on the grassy area on Messenger Street; HGVs not only cause a road safety hazard but a health hazard, churning out diesel fumes.
“Our properties and cars have sustained damage due to to the vibration caused by the passage of heavy lorries,” Jan added. “Cracked beams, damage to porches; garden walls have also been damaged.”
HGVs have also gotten stuck on roads with sharp inclines, blocking access and - as Jan suggests - potentially posing a severe risk by rendering houses inaccessible to the emergency services.
Lorry drivers themselves are likewise frustrated at having to navigate narrow roads and tight junctions , with Simon explaining: “The County Council is unable to support kerbside parking restrictions.
“I will, however, progress the proposal to introduce advisory road markings to discourage parking and enable HGV access,” Simon added.
“Residents are not against business and recognise the area needs opportunities for employment,” said Jan. “However, we’d like to see a solution.It’s time the local authorities, both County and Borough, dealt with this problem.”