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Lavenham, between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury, seeks solutions to long-standing HGV traffic problems

Measures to try to reduce levels of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic in a Suffolk village are under review, amid ongoing concerns about the impact locally.

Representatives from local councils and law enforcement were joined by the MP for South Suffolk, James Cartlidge, earlier this month, to discuss problems caused by HGVs driving through Lavenham, via the A1141.

Frustrations around pedestrian safety and property damage have been aired by residents and councillors over the last several years, as a consequence of lorries opting to go through the village.

Water Street, in Lavenham, has been identified as a particular problem spot. Picture: Mark Westley
Water Street, in Lavenham, has been identified as a particular problem spot. Picture: Mark Westley

This is despite contrary guidance in the Strategic Lorry Route, the policy adopted by Suffolk County Council, to direct which roads that HGV drivers should follow when travelling across Suffolk.

Water Street has been identified as a particular problem spot, due to its narrow width, with reports of lorries clipping homes when turning the tight corner on to the road.

In response, a meeting was called, involving Lavenham, Babergh and county councillors, plus Suffolk Police, Suffolk Trading Standards and Mr Cartlidge, to discuss potential solutions.

Following the meeting, Lavenham parish clerk Andrew Smith said: “The volume of heavy goods vehicles using the A1141 through the heart of medieval Lavenham is an ongoing issue, which Lavenham Parish Council is keen to address.

“The discussion focussed on the lack of adherence to the Official Lorry Route and how this could be improved.

“It was agreed that clearer road signage is required to support increased compliance and enforcement, particularly when it comes to the eastbound restriction on Water Street.

“Additionally, it was agreed that engagement with utility companies is needed to ensure a more sensitive application of diversion notices to avoid heavier use of the A1141.

“The parish council will continue our dialogue with the county council and Suffolk Police. We have been assured of our MP’s ongoing support.”