Trains run again as pit reduces lorry traffic

Residents of Hatfield and Hatfield Woodhouse protest againt the amount of lorries travelling through their village. Pictured back l-r are Ann Dawson, and her husband Dennis, of Moss Croft Lane, Hatfield, Hatfield town councillor Mick Glynn, and David Green, of Ancient Lane, Hatfield Woodhouse. Front l-r are Theresa Plumb, of Mosscroft Lane, Hatfield, and Martin Johnson, of High Street, Hatfield.  Picture: Liz Mockler D4340LM

Residents of Hatfield and Hatfield Woodhouse protest againt the amount of lorries travelling through their village. Pictured back l-r are Ann Dawson, and her husband Dennis, of Moss Croft Lane, Hatfield, Hatfield town councillor Mick Glynn, and David Green, of Ancient Lane, Hatfield Woodhouse. Front l-r are Theresa Plumb, of Mosscroft Lane, Hatfield, and Martin Johnson, of High Street, Hatfield. Picture: Liz Mockler D4340LM

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Coal trains are running from Hatfield Colliery again in a bid to reduce traffic congestion in nearby villages.

The increase in lorries travelling through Hatfield and Hatfield Woodhouse, since the spoilheap landslip wrecked the rail route between Doncaster and Scunthorpe, had led to protests from residents.

But there will be 400 fewer HGV journeys this week and next after Network Rail allowed coal trains to run from the colliery branch line towards Thorne and the east coast.

The move should mean more peaceful nights for people living near the main road route.

Hatfield town councillor Mick Glynn had urged the pit operators to impose a night-time curfew on lorry movements after 8pm and to introduce a voluntary speed limit through the villages.

A spokesman for Hargreaves Services, which runs the pit, said: “We have been able to schedule a number of coal trains from Hatfield Colliery - five scheduled for this week and five for next week - to help reduce HGV truck movements through Hatfield.

“Each train is the equivalent of removing some 40 HGV movements, so over the two week period that’s 400 fewer HGV movements through Hatfield.

“Because of this we are able to stop night-time truck journeys, a move that we trust will be welcomed by local residents.”

The colliery management is also arranging a meeting with Hatfield Town Council in the near future to discuss locals’ concerns.

Network Rail has confirmed that repair work on the disrupted tracks will go on until September, beyond the original target of June.

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