Campaign for Shropshire town lorry ban

In a letter to MP Owen Paterson and council leader Peter Nutting, Wem resident Susan Griffiths said HGVs had damaged road signs, bollards, walls and even the door of ambulance. She claims signs directing lorries to Wem Industrial Site, installed in a bid to solve the problem last month, had not deterred lorries from using the route through the town. Susan said the community was campaigning against HGV traffic driving through the town and was seeking help the move it forward.

In the letter, she said: “There have been surveys commissioned by the highways department, petitions signed by residents, and a survey organised by the town council at the behest of Shropshire Council. “All of which proved that the amount of traffic and HGVs was too great and that the single most important thing for residents would be to have a ban on HGVs driving through the town.” She went on to explain the damage that been caused by adding: “The impact of these HGVs can be seen by the road signs which generally face at odd angles depending on which way they have been hit, in safety bollards regularly having to be reset, of walls being knocked down, an ambulance door hit as an HGV forced its way past, by pedestrians having to squeeze into shop doorways as wide traffic rides the pavements, let alone the pollution, vibrational damage to property including the church tower.

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“Over two years ago Wem Town Council offered to pay for these signs themselves, over a year ago such was the embarrassment of Shropshire Council that it was agreed that they would pay for the signs.

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“After many missed deadlines the signs went up at the beginning of August. “The signs that were put up were directional signs for Wem Industrial Unit, not at all what had been agreed in meetings held with both councils and the Wem Economic Forum traffic Committee. “Subsequently there has been no diminishment in the amount of HGVs that drive through Wem due to sat nav technology and wanting to use a quicker route than other more suitable arteries such as the A49.”

But Dave Gradwell, Shropshire Council’s traffic engineer, said the signs had the backing of the town council.

“The design and locations of the HGV routing signage that have recently been installed for Wem Industrial Estate had previously been discussed and agreed with the Wem Economic Forum Traffic Working Group and also Wem Town Council,” he said.

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