Historic Suffolk village calls for lorry ban

Problems with HGVs has been an ongoing issue in Coddenham, near Needham Market

Problems with HGVs has been an ongoing issue in Coddenham, near Needham Market - Credit: Coddenham Parish Council

Lorries should be banned from passing through an historic village that has faced "dangerous" traffic problems for 50 years, its parish council has said.

Coddenham Parish Council wants the B1078 through Coddenham - a conservation area - to be excluded from the county's draft lorry route network.

Suffolk County Council is reviewing its lorry route plan, which was last updated in 2011, and has been consulting local communities.

The B1078 through Coddenham in Mid Suffolk features in the draft network as a 'zone distribution lorry route' - connecting with strategic lorry route, the A140, and local access routes.

The draft lorry route showing the B1078 in blue

The draft lorry route showing the B1078 in blue - Credit: Screenshot

Allan Fowler, chairman of Coddenham Parish Council, said they want the B1078, which includes the High Street, to be taken off the lorry route completely, adding "carrying on with the current situation will make it worse".

He said: "It's a permanent problem. We have pollution problems. Vehicles are hitting grade II-listed buildings."

The Coddenham Parish Council website has many photos showing lorries trying to squeeze through the historic village.

Coddenham Parish Council has been trying to tackle the problem of HGVs for many years

Coddenham Parish Council has been trying to tackle the problem of HGVs for many years - Credit: Coddenham Parish Council

Properties have been struck by vehicles on numerous occasions, the parish council said, with one cottage at the end of Love Lane having recorded damage on at least seven occasions.

There is currently a weight restriction of 7.5 tonnes westbound, but the parish council said this gets ignored. Traffic hold-ups can also last more than 20-30 minutes.

Traffic congestion is another issue affecting the village

Traffic congestion is another issue affecting the village - Credit: Coddenham Parish Council

Coddenham Parish Council told Suffolk County Council: "Coddenham has, over at least the last 50 years, recorded numerous complaints, concerns and evidence on the increasingly destructive, frustrating, polluting and dangerous traffic problems facing the village.

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"The response thus far has been minimal and ineffective. A 20mph speed limit and one-way HGV restriction are of little consequence and unenforced."

It added: "Action is required now."

Coddenham Parish Council said lorries trying to squeeze through pinch-points

Coddenham Parish Council said lorries trying to squeeze through pinch-points - Credit: Coddenham Parish Council

The parish council also said the weight limit did not solve the problems associated with the large number of HGVs travelling east meeting west-bound vehicles of all sizes at classic pinch-points.

"Put simply, the road along most of its length, especially the High Street, is totally inadequate to accommodate HGVs, leaving no room for pedestrians or cyclists, or to enable on-coming vehicles to pass.

"It is patently inadequate to form any part of a preferred 'Designated Lorry Route'," the parish council added.

Coddenham is a conservation area

Coddenham is a conservation area - Credit: Coddenham Parish Council

Mr Fowler said: "It's not to create problems for our neighbours, but to put the traffic where it should be on the A12, A14 and A140."

The parish council said when there had been local road closures, the vehicles had managed to find alternative routes.

It feels the consultation seeking the views of parish and town councils, which closes on December 17, was a "tick-box" survey, so it sent an additional response to Suffolk County Council.

A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council said it had given parish and town councils equal opportunity to highlight their key areas of concern via the online survey.

They said: "The community review follows on from a detailed technical review of the existing recommended lorry route network which has considered issues related to road safety, the environment and the general suitability of routes.

"As part of the community review, we are not asking local councils to undertake detailed analysis of lorry movements, nor are we seeking an exhaustive list of issues related to lorry movements in communities.

"However, we are looking to understand local priorities regarding the existing recommended lorry route network and build an awareness of issues that local communities experience that may inform future policy."

The county council plans to finalise the review early in the New Year and publish the new, interactive recommended lorry route map in the spring.