Call for fight against lorries illegally driving through Tewkesbury
ACTION is needed to stop heavy lorries thundering through Tewkesbury illegally, according to a former town mayor.
Chuck Pavey, who was Tewkesbury's civic leader until May, said something must be done about drivers ignoring the 7.5 tonne weight limit in the town centre.
While many people have blamed the county council's road safety scheme for slowing up the traffic in High Street and adding to pollution there, the town councillor believes lorries using the route are the main problem.
He is now calling for a Tewkesbury Lorry Watch scheme to be set up again so that drivers can be reported to the authorities if they use the town centre for anything other than access.
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Mr Pavey said the initiative, which relies on volunteers noting down lorries' number plates, had been in place in the past but has now lapsed.
"Many of the lorries accessing the town shouldn't be in here," he added. "Without them, it would mean the High Street would be relatively clear.
"It's been a problem for a few years, but it's more noticeable now because of the road safety scheme.
"The traffic islands that have been put in mean there is less space for the lorries to negotiate their way through the town."
Bringing back Lorry Watch, he said, would help reduce pollution, noise and vibration from lorries in the town centre.
Gloucestershire County Council spokeswoman Jenny Wilks said: "Lorry Watch is now an element of our new Big Community Offer – Highways Your Way.
"For many years, parish and town councils across Gloucestershire have successfully worked with us to manage their local highways.
"We are building on this by giving communities the tools and support to carry out work within their area.
"We are currently working on a pilot scheme with Tetbury Town Council to agree the arrangements on how Lorry Watch will work as part of Highways Your Way.
"We are interested in hearing from Tewkesbury Town Council if they are interested, so we can support them in re-launching the scheme."
Mr Pavey said he was encouraged by the county council's response and he would put the issue on the agenda of next month's town council meeting.