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Call for action on 'intolerable' situation as HGVs use route through Moreton Hall estate residential areas




Residents of a Bury St Edmunds housing estate are calling for action to stop heavy goods vehicles cutting through residential areas.

Orttewell Road, which runs across the Moreton Hall estate, connects the A143 Compiegne Way with Bedingfeld Way.

Lorries using the road are doing nothing wrong as there is no weight limit on the route, however residents, Councillor Trevor Beckwith and the Moreton Hall Residents’ Association describe the situation as ‘intolerable’. They want a weight limit and improved signage directing HGVs to use alternative routes.

Cllr Trevor Beckwith
Cllr Trevor Beckwith

Cllr Beckwith said a weight limit would have an additional benefit, allowing Orttewell Road railway bridge to be opened to two-way traffic, thereby resolving a traffic ‘pinch point’ in Compiegne Way caused by existing three-way traffic lights.

Cllr Beckwith said as Suffolk County Council had failed to address HGV and congestion issues he had submitted a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Cllr Beckwith said: “We are not anti-HGVs or people earning a living. We accept that HGVs are part of life, but they have got to be managed better than they are now.”

Orttewell Road in Bury St Edmunds
Orttewell Road in Bury St Edmunds

He feels the issues could worsen when the Moreton Hall expansion is complete, up to 1,375 homes are built off the A143 at Great Barton and a further 1,250 off Rougham Hill.

In recent months, the HGV problem has been exacerbated by flooding closing the A143 at Compiegne Way, diverting traffic through the estate. The most recent closure saw it shut for more than four days.

During the closure Mike Crichton – whose home backs on to Orttewell Road – conducted a survey and found an average of 600 lorries using the road every day.

“That is totally unacceptable on what is not a main route linking to the A14,” said Mr Crichton.

“We are facing an issue which could have long-term effects on the value of living here. I don’t feel highways are considering the health and wellbeing of the local population.”

Melanie Soanes, who lives near Orttewell Road, said she was exhausted due to being constantly woken by HGVs using the road.

“My biggest problem is the noise and disruption, while I also have concerns about the walkway through to the primary school and children’s safety. Something needs to be done about it,” she said.

Robert Houlton-Hart Moreton Hall Residents’ Association secretary, said: “There’s been no action. It seems that the county doesn’t treat highways as a priority given they have given the portfolio to four people in four years.”

Cliff Hind, chairman of the residents’ association, said: “We feel we have got as far as we can through the normal channels with regards the county council, other bodies and our MP. We don’t seem to be getting anywhere.”

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said it was aware of the issues raised by Cllr Beckwith. He added that a county-wide HGV route review, to help ensure HGVs and lorries used the most suitable routes, was under way and parish and town council would be asked to contribute in the summer.

“We are aware of the issues raised by Cllr Beckwith regarding Orttewell Road.

“A county-wide HGV route review is currently taking place, which involves two parts. A technical review which looks at data and evidence and a community review which seeks to find out about local issues and intelligence. All parish and town councils will be asked to contribute to the community review in the summer.”

Further information about the HGV review, frequently asked questions and the process can be found at www.suffolk.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/lorry-management/lorry-route-plan-review-in-suffolk

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