Concern over lorry routes

Lorry worry: Our graphic, right, shows the routes.
Lorry worry: Our graphic, right, shows the routes.
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A NEW plan is being drawn up in an effort to make sure the 4,500 lorries using Sheffield’s roads each day travel on wide routes away from residential areas.

Sheffield councillors have been sent copies of a map drawn up showing routes they consider suitable, mostly A roads, which will now be subject to consultation.

The aim is to ensure the 4,500 lorries using Sheffield’s roads each day travel on wide routes away from residential areas.

But the map includes allowing trucks heading between the M1 and quarries in Derbyshire to use Abbey Lane, between Beauchief and Woodseats, and Brocco Bank and Clarkehouse Road as alternatives to the A625 Ecclesall Road.

Sheffield Council says the map is for consultation purposes only and final routes have not been decided.

But residents and businesses have queried why the council did not speak to quarry owners and Derbyshire County Council about whether signposted HGV routes could be created avoiding Sheffield, such as through Chesterfield instead.

Residents on Abbey Lane have long campaigned for a ban on lorries, which currently use the B road because there are weight limits on alternative routes Bocking Lane, at Greenhill, and the B6054 at Holmesfield, in Derbyshire.

Mary Cook, aged 84, a retired school technician, who lives on Abbey Lane, said: “I think it’s disgusting. There is a primary school on this road and we were hopeful the council would ban lorries.

“My son counted the number of trucks and there are hundreds each day, at all hours.

“Sheffield Council should have spoken to Derbyshire County Council and the quarry owners about where the lorries should go before drawing up a plan.”

Businessman Zafar Malik, of BS Com Computer Services, on Abbey Lane, added: “We get loads of lorries and they block up the road at peak times.

“When they turn on to the A61 towards Meadowhead and the outer ring road they sometimes struggle to get up the hill in bad weather.

“Lorries definitely upset the residents.”

But retired trucker Tom Rewcastle, 85, of Derbyshire Lane, Norton, said: “I think Abbey Lane should stay open for HGVs – it’s a good route for truckers avoiding the city centre.”

Also concerned were people around the Botanical Gardens, where Clarkehouse Road could be designated an HGV route.

Jane Purdy, owner of the Curators House cafe, at the Clarkehouse Road entrance to the gardens, said: “The road is very busy as it is. I live a mile away and it can take three-quarters of an hour to drive here. There’s also all the schools. It’s not appropriate.”

Park users Dr David Winfield and his wife Jane, from Fulwood, were also opposed to the idea.

Mrs Winfield said: “It sounds utter nonsense. The council should assess where the lorries are coming from and intending to go before deciding on routes.”

Her husband added: “If lorries come this way it is going to clog up the area even worse than it is already.”

Broomhill Lib Dem councillor and former Sheffield Council leader Coun Paul Scriven said: “The council hasn’t even had the decency to speak to local residents before coming up with this ridiculous plan.

“They should sit down with Derbyshire County Council and the quarry operators to come up with a solution that works.”

‘THERE’S NO REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE’, SAYS COUNCIL

PROPOSALS to include Abbey Lane, Brocco Bank and Clarkehouse Road in a map of possible HGV routes were today defended by Sheffield Council.

A report circulated to councillors along with the map gives reasons for their inclusion.

It states: “The B6068 Abbey Lane and B6375 Whirlowdale Road provide a link between the A625, A621 and A61 to the A6102 outer ring road.

“There is no reasonable alternative within Sheffield other than going to the Inner Ring Road and out along one of the A roads.

“It benefits single and multi-stop journeys within Sheffield and its removal would displace traffic elsewhere, whilst increasing journey times and distances leading to increased costs to operators.

“The B6069 Brocco Bank, Glossop Road and Clarkson Street link relieves some of the pressure off Ecclesall Road and Moore Street junction on the Inner Ring Road.”

The council added that the map was a ‘reflection of current usage of the roads in Sheffield by HGVs and avoids most of the known problem areas’.

“It shouldn’t lead to significantly more HGVs using these roads but will help in our aim of getting them onto the most suitable routes at all parts of their journey,” officials added.

John Bann, head of transport and highways at Sheffield Council, said: “This consultation document is a city wide review of heavy good vehicles.

“It is currently being widely circulated in order to gain as much public opinion as well as the opinions of HGV operators and businesses as possible ahead of any preferred route being implemented.

“Nothing has been decided and will not be decided until everyone has had a chance to have their say on this matter.

As part of its review of HGV routes, Sheffield Council said it has already consulted with its community assemblies last October to find out details of problems caused by HGVs in their areas.

The council has used responses to outline the possible network of roads suitable for use by HGVs for through trips and access to the city centre.

“However, this is just one possibility and is not set in stone. We welcome suggestions on alternative routes. That is why we are urging people to let us know what they think and will base any decision on the fairest possible outcome for all concerned,” Mr Bann said.

The issue of lorries coming in from Derbyshire driving through the city to reach other areas of the country is being discussed separately with Derbyshire County Council, which is also being consulted on the city wide review of HGVs, he added.

Mr Bann said the council is also discussing its review with other South Yorkshire authorities, the Highways Agency, South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and freight hauliers.

Derbyshire County Council said it was not consulted about the map of possible HGV routes within Sheffield but it has been asked to give its views on whether quarry lorries can use alternative routes by later this month.

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