New weight limit aims to keep lorries off King’s Lynn road
A weight limit looks set to be reinstated on a busy Lynn road in a bid to stop heavy lorries from using the route.
Two county councillors have joined forces to use their transport budgets to re-introduce a 7.5 tonne restriction to the B1144, which runs along Vancouver Avenue, Tennyson Road and Tennyson Avenue.
But residents say more still needs to be done to ensure safety in the area, which one resident described as being “like living on a motorway.”
And officials have been warned there could be protests and legal action if they do not act properly.
Around 60 residents attended a public meeting at the King’s Lynn Town football ground on Wednesday evening, which was called by the B1144 Action Group.
They have led demands for action to improve safety along the route and presented a petition containing hundreds of signatures to Norfolk County Council leaders in May.
During the meeting, county councillors Alexandra Kemp and Thomas Smith announced they had agreed to commit their local member transport budgets for the current financial year, worth £6,000 each, to reinstating a 7.5 tonne weight restriction on the route.
Residents say they have endured decades of damage to their properties caused by heavy lorries.
A letter from Norfolk County Council officials, copies of which were distributed at the meeting, said the rule had been put in place in the late 1970s, but was scrapped around 10 years ago.
It is likely to take around six months for a new restriction to take effect, so the legal process can be completed.
But Mr Smith said it was time for change, adding: “We’re here to do what you want and we’re going to do it.”
However, the meeting also heard concerns that a similar restriction introduced in nearby Loke Road had not solved the problem, because of a lack of enforcement.
One speaker said residents would be prepared to block the road in protest at the situation unless more substantial action was taken.
And Simon Vallance, of the action group, said some residents were prepared to consider bringing a collective legal case, known as a class action, against the county council if the problems persisted.
He welcomed the commitment to a weight limit, but added: “The longer it takes, the more damage will be done. There’s going to be a point when enough is enough.”
But Chief Inspector Ed Brown, of Lynn police, said he would look to do more to tackle the problem.
Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, added that he did not expect major opposition at County Hall to the new limit.
Councillors and residents have also called for cameras to be installed to target those flouting the rules on the B1144.
A show of hands at the meeting showed an overwhelming majority in favour of the measure.
And Miss Kemp called for Norfolk County Council to review its policy of not installing cameras.
She said: “I think they would calm the traffic.”
The meeting also heard 11 drivers had been caught breaking the area’s 30 mile per hour speed limit by a newly reformed Community Speedwatch group.
Further enforcenment action was carried out by the police this week, though senior officers denied suggestions insisted it was not connected to the timing of the meeting.
Residents also called for crossings to be installed on the road to make it safer for pedestrians.