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Suffolk County Council to issue traffic regulation order on HGVs passing through Eye town centre



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Campaigners have welcomed a commitment by Suffolk County Council to ban HGVs from travelling through Eye.

The decision to introduce a traffic regulation order, which will restrict access for any vehicle over 7.5 tonnes, looks to bring to an end years of HGVs recklessly mounting pavements, colliding with properties and writing off vehicles in the town.

Peter Gould, county and district councillor for Hoxne and Eye, had been one of many – along with campaign group Trucks out of our Town – pushing for the highway authority, Suffolk County Council, to approve the order.

Members of Eye Town Council - pictured from left: Andrew Evitt, Marian Walker, Johnnie Walker, Kell Gatherer, Richard Berry, Gary Rowland and Wayne Potter. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022
Members of Eye Town Council - pictured from left: Andrew Evitt, Marian Walker, Johnnie Walker, Kell Gatherer, Richard Berry, Gary Rowland and Wayne Potter. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2022

He said: “People have been pushing for this for a long time and I’m really pleased that the county council is going ahead with it.

“My concern has always been about public safety and I hope this order will stop that danger and make it safer for people to go out and shop.”

Residents have spent years expressing their fears about the dangers of lorries mounting curbs as they make their way through the medieval town of Eye.

Peter Gould, new Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for assets and investments. Picture: Mid Suffolk District Council
Peter Gould, new Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for assets and investments. Picture: Mid Suffolk District Council

Back in 2020, one resident told the Suffolk News that she would not let her children walk to school alone – because she feared that they may be hit by a lorry.

“We have got 40-tonne trucks coming through streets that were built for horse and carriage, and it just doesn’t work,” said Eye mayor Johnnie Walker.

“It’s a real credit to everybody for what they have done to make this happen, and at last people are starting to see that local government is listening to them.”

Johnnie Walker, Mayor of Eye. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Johnnie Walker, Mayor of Eye. Picture: Mark Bullimore

The temporary order is expected to come into force later this year, preventing lorries from travelling through any residential areas in the town centre for 18 months. Following that, a decision will be made to determine whether the order should be made permanent.

Cllr Gould added: “One of the things we get to work out is the impact the order will have on the other places around Eye and how effective it will be in reducing the amount of HGV traffic.

“My expectation is it will greatly reduce the amount of traffic and the chaos of having big lorries striking buildings.”

A small working group, including Cllr Gould, local residents and representatives from both the county council and town council, has now been established to determine how the order will be carried out.

Implementing the scheme is expected to cost around £50,000, which will be spent on costs such as new signage and street lights – and will also include contributions from the town and district councils.

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, also welcomed the decision.

In a statement, he said: “For too long, residents have endured inappropriately high numbers of large HGVs travelling through the town, causing danger to pedestrians and children travelling to and from school, constant congestion in the town, not to mention damage to historic buildings.

“We both recognised the need to take urgent action and we are now pleased to have secured a firm commitment from Suffolk County Council that it will take action.”