Village Concerns re unfit for purpose roads; speed and bridge

Seniko

12, Nursery Drive,

Moreton On Lugg,

Hereford.

HR4 8DJ.                                                                                        20th May 2018.

Dear Sir,

It is with great concern that I put pen to paper to draw your attention to what I consider to be an increasing problem caused by the use of HGV vehicles travelling both ways along country lane that runs from Marden through the village of Moreton On Lugg and eventually onto the A49 trunk road.

I am a retired Police Officer of the West Mercia Constabulary, much of my service being spent on the traffic department. These are my personal observations.

 A majority of the vehicles are forty ton articulated HGV’s. It appears that a large majority of the vehicles are owned by S&A of Marden and vehicles servicing their depo.

Firstly, I draw you attention to the severe degradation of the carriageway on the approach to the village of Moreton On Lugg and the Lugg river bridge from the direction of Marden, it appears that a considerable amount of patching has gone on in the past, in places the sides of the road are completely broken down, the double yellow lines have been completely obliterated and only when a complete resurfacing project is undergone will the road be fit for purpose. 

Secondly, the bridge over the river Lugg has a Heritage listing Grade 2 [1099255] and could go back to the 16th century and as such deserves better, it was built for a horse and cart not forty ton articulated lorry’s, it is to my knowledge that the Hereford Council have been called upon to carry out repairs to the bridge in the past, [see photographs showing damage]

The carriageway at the point of the river bridge when travelling from Marden forms a bend to the right the view of approaching traffic is obscured, in effect it is a blind bend and not conducive to HGV’s.

Almost immediately after the river bridge there is a railway line crossing the carriageway controlled by warning lights and a barrier level crossing, this is by it’s very nature is a cause for concern, I have seen lorry’s travelling in convoy, it only needs one to get caught out to cause disruption to the railway system and there is always the potential of something much worse.

At the commencement of the village built up area there is a Mandatory 30 MPH speed restriction sign, the carriageway at this point is no more than a country lane and forms a series of bends, along this particular part of the road there is no footpath on either side, I have seen mothers pushing prams along here, I have yet to see a situation on the road where mothers pushing prams and HGV’s mix successfully, this as I see it is a massive road safety issue.

The carriageway then straightens out and there are several junctions that lead to residential properties, visibility from many of these junctions is restricted and extreme caution must be exorcised when joining the main carriageway. 

In the village there is a Premier food store, to access it a majority of the elderly  village occupants have to cross the road, this is yet again a road safety issue and needs to be addressed, perhaps the introduction of a pedestrian crossing or a 20 MPH speed limit would be the answer.

Situated in the village is a very popular fish and chip shop, during opening times this facility attracts a large number of people and an influx of vehicles and the HGV situation is still there and road safety issues once again arise.

 I draw your attention now to the general condition of the carriageway through the village, it is appalling, not just the odd pot hole or so, it’ like a ploughed field a motor cyclists night mare. I do not intend to labour this point as I understand that a resurfacing program is taking place this year. My concern is that once the new surface has been laid, how long will it last with the continued abuse by HGV’s. 

There is a problem of speeding vehicles in the village, a point that has been brought to my attention by many people. It is an issue that is manifesting itself with vehicles across the board from motor cycles to HGV’s. I would like to see representation made to the Police for an occasional radar speed check, perhaps that and would help matters. Personally, I would like to see an illuminated actual speed reminder sign to motorists regarding their speed, similar to that in many local villages.        

Perhaps the most important point of this letter is to draw your attention to the amount of noise and air pollution being caused to the population of the village by these vehicles, I refer to Nitrogen Oxide [NOX] and how many of these lorries are fitted with an Emulator which makes the pollution much worse, in addition consideration must be given to the school children being forced to endure this pollution and dust kicked up by them while waiting for the school bus. 

This is an agricultural area and the road through the village is used by the local farming community as one would expect. I do think in the interests and wellbeing of the local community the practice of using the main road through the village as a rat run for HGV’s should be seriously looked at.

All Highway Authorities are required by law to ensure that their roads are designed, constructed and maintained so that they are safe and fit for purpose.

 Their statutory duties are contained in several Acts of Parliament. A question I think that must be asked at this point is.’ Is this country lane fit for forty ton articulated lorries or not.      

Your thoughts on the matters I have raised would be much appreciated, I understand that the Transport Industry have to operate but not at the expense of road safety and above all the peace and tranquillity that is the back bone of the communities of Herefordshire.

Yours Sincerely

T.R. Davis.

Cc        Bill Wiggin, House of Commons

            Hereford Council

           Moreton On Lugg Parish Council

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