Villagers urged to back HGV sat nav law

Villagers worried about the number and speed of lorries past their homes have been asked to back a sat nav law.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s transport portfolio holder, promised villagers of Culford, West Stow and Wordwell that the county would investigate their problems. But he also asked them to help by writing to MPs to push for a lorry sat nav law.

The villages’ parish council called a parish meeting on Tuesday over traffic using the B1106 and surrounding country roads.

Residents from both West Stow and Culford complained that lorries were using narrow country roads in spite of signs saying they were unsuitable.

The signs are advisory and there is no legal weight restriction on the roads, but Cllr McGregor said the county could take action against hauliers whose vehicles damaged unsuitable roads and he and Cllr Hopfensperger would meet companies to discuss it.

But he said sat navs directing drivers were part of the problem. He added: “We should be insisting that if HGV drivers are using sat nav they should be using the latest ones applicable to HGVs.

“The only people who can insist on that are the Department for Transport and the only people who can influence them are the MPs, so for goodness sake, write to them.”

Many villagers felt lorries were being ‘directed’ up the B1106 by a weak bridge sign which could be seen as suggesting the bridge was on the A134 but actually relates to one at Fornham All Saints.

The county’s west area traffic manager Steve Boors said: “I can see that the sign is ambiguous.”

Cllr McGregor promised it would be dealt with.

A letter read out from a resident unable to attend said the situation became worse when traffic lights were put on the A11 at Elveden and the writer feared the dualling would worsen the situation.

Cllr Mcgregor said: “When the dualling is complete the lights will be taken out. I can see why this route is attractive for through HGVs.”

But he later added that the county had received Department of Transport funding for improvements in the surrounding area on the back of the A11 work.

He also said speed limits would be reviewed but they had to take police advice on what was enforceable.

Ward county councillor Beccy Hopfensperger said approval had been given for siting mobile vehicle activated signs, which flash up the vehicle’s speed, on the B1106 in Culford.