People concerned about the lack of facilities for the growing number of lorries travelling to and through Haverhill have welcomed a major traffic survey being carried out in the town.
Earlier this month leading business representatives met with councils and other key organisations to discuss the escalating problem.
While recognising the increased number of large commercial vehicles as a sign of the robust nature of the local and regional economies – estimated to be about 500 a day – they expressed concern for residents if the need for a dedicated local lorry park was not addressed.
John Mayhew, of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Haverhill and District, said: “Residents have already complained about lorries parking up in residential streets where there are no facilities for the drivers. There is the nuisance of noise and litter.
“Many of the lorries coming to the town have travelled from Europe and, therefore, planed arrival at logistics companies based in Haverhill can be difficult to estimate. The result is they have to park up and there are simply no facilities.
“The town is scheduled to grow further with more homes and businesses due to be built here. We need to develop a plan and then deliver it for the benefit of local haulage companies, lorry drivers, other businesses and the wider Haverhill community.
“At this stage, we are looking for solutions both close to Haverhill and further afield as well.”
It was agreed the first step towards finding a solution would be to better understand current lorry traffic flows and parking arrangements.
The county council is due to carry out a major traffic survey in the Haverhill area and this was welcomed at the meeting.
The survey is expected to produce rich data by using ‘automatic number plate recognition’ to show where vehicles enter and leave the area, with results likely to be available towards the end of the year.
Mr Mayhew said: “It was great that so many organisations recognised the importance of the issue and spent time discussing ideas and options to work together to find a solution that works for all.”
Those who attended the meeting included West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock and with representatives from the Great Cambridge and Greater Cambridge Local Enterprise Partnership, New Anglia Growth Hub, Haverhill Town Council, Forest Heath District Council, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Haverhill and District.