More than 200 truck drivers a day still push their way along a narrow road in a village in East Staffordshire, despite new traffic orders, activists have said.
The Yoxall MP and the village action group said heavy trucks were still driving through the village on the A515, despite signs warning of the new traffic orders being put in place. The orders are not binding and are advisory only, but they hoped this decision would deter truckers from using the route.
It comes after Yoxall has been plagued by problems as trucks are forced up the sidewalks to overtake – often as children use the sidewalks to get to the village school.
Tory Lichfield MP Michael Manufacturer, who represents the village near Burton, said the new orders had resulted in fewer trucks on the road overnight. But he says there are always problems, with “heavy movements” throughout the day.
The traffic orders are designed to prevent heavy goods vehicles from using the village on a road, according to activists, was originally intended only for horses and carts.
For many years, activists have warned of the dangers, especially as trucks are forced onto sidewalks to pass each other.
Residents even put together footage of incidents to highlight the dangers and as a result the orders were put in place to allay long-standing fears about danger to schoolchildren and the elderly.
Yoxall Traffic Action Group had been at odds with Staffordshire County Council for several years as it demanded the introduction of a weight restriction on the route, rather than traffic orders.
But the authority said a weight restriction was not possible on what is classified as part of the county’s main road network, meaning the A515 is classified as a shortcut if part of the A50 or A38 is closed in case of emergency.
Mr Manufacturer said: “I welcome the new traffic orders placed by Staffordshire County Council to reduce truck movements via Yoxall and Kings Bromley.
“These seem to have drastically reduced the flow of traffic at night, but the heavy movements continue throughout the day.
The Yoxall Traffic Action Group estimates that around 200 heavy trucks continue to drive through Yoxall on the dangerous dog-leg as children walk to and from an elementary school on narrow sidewalks.
“I will continue to work with the action group and the parish councils to see how this can be reduced”
Nick Whitwell, of the Yoxall Traffic Action Group, said: “At first glance, the traffic orders give roughly what the county traffic survey said, that it would wipe out most of the evening trucks. and at night, but leaving high volumes early in the morning and throughout the day.
“It is clear from the research we did that 90% of these vehicles turn left at the bottom of the A515 and therefore simply take a short cut, like the A513.
“This road has absolutely no strategic value.”
He said the group spoke to two transport companies who said it was “cheaper for them to use the A38 / A50 because the road through Yoxall is dangerous.”
He added: “However, a weight limit and a change in road status would be easier for the police.”
Mr. Manufacturer added: “I have great sympathy for Mr. Whitwell’s arguments.
“A weight limit for through traffic – not for deliveries in the area – always seems to be the best solution for the appalling traffic conditions through Yoxall and Kings Bromley.”
Staffordshire County Councilor Helen Fisher, who deals with highway and transport issues, said: “We are always grateful for community feedback on any highway project.
“This is an experimental traffic regulation order and we will take into account all feedback on its operation.
“There will be a full traffic study in the fall of this year and then we will determine the way forward in terms of experimental control.”