Action on lorries steps up in Clare

A Culina Logistics lorry struggles to negotiate the Bell Corner in Clare town centre
A Culina Logistics lorry struggles to negotiate the Bell Corner in Clare town centre

Clare Town Council is to crank up a campaign to reduce the number of heavy good vehicles (HGVs) that pass through its streets.

For more than a year Clare resident Bob Verguson has run a campaign to highlight the issue of the number of HGVs that pass through the centre of Clare and the damage they cause to buildings, the roads, other vehicles and the services that run beneath the roads.

While the town council has supported Mr Verguson and the action group, it now wants to take a more proactive role, including appealing to the borough and county councils to do more.

Councillor Peter Phillips, chairman of the town council’s highways committee, said: “Clare is a residential area. It is a very old town with narrow roads and pavements not designed for large, articulated HGVs.

“Clare Town Council suggests that an environmental weight restriction would require many of these vehicles to use the designated Stragetic Lorry Route rather than the Zone Distributor Route and Local Access Lorry Route.

“It might also encourage investment in vehicles of a more appropriate size for the rural roads of Suffolk.”

Articulated lorries cause the most problems when passing through the tightest points of Clare, such the corner where the Bell Hotel stands and Well Lane, which is just 14ft wide at its narrowest.

They are also a problem for other villages on the route from Sudbury to Haverhill, including Cavendish and Stoke by Clare.

Cllr Phillips outlined some of the issues, saying: “Listed buildings and other properties are being damaged in collisions.

“The Bell Hotel has been hit twice by HGVs recently, roof tiles have been dislodged from buildings, plaster shaken from walls.

“Pedestrians and pedal cyclists are being drenched in filthy water by vehicles driving through the resulting puddles.

“Residents living in the vicinity of Bell Corner are frightened to use their front doors. Other residents cower in fear at the approach of these monsters.”

Cllr Phillips encouraged anyone with concerns over the problem to contact the town council at or attend its meetings.

He added: “If we were to have a tragedy in Clare caused by an HGV, and this possibility is increasingly likely given recent incidents, then appropriate action would probably follow. Our intention is to act before this happens.”