HGV debate sparks concerns at Petworth meeting

RESIDENTS have condemned the Co-operative for instructing its delivery drivers to take a route into Petworth which HGVs should avoid.

It’s an age-old problem for the town, which does not allow lorries through the centre unless they are making deliveries to businesses in Petworth.

Lynnette Humphry told a meeting of Petworth Town Council on Thursday residents of Grove Lane had a ‘particular problem’ with the shop’s lorries coming up the lane.

The narrow lane into Petworth has had problems with lorries before – and this is just another nail in the coffin.

“That’s not a designated route into the town, even if they’re delivering into the town,” she said.

“It’s coming up in the mornings and evenings to the extent that residents have followed and spoken to drivers.”

She told the council the road was not suitable for HGVs, even if they were delivering into the centre of Petworth, and they needed to go another way around.

People in the area have been told by the drivers their sat navs had sent them that way.

Mrs Humphry said not all drivers used that route, however the instructions given told them to enter Petworth at the A272 North Street or the A283 Angel Street.

“Each driver is supposed to read that list,” she said.

She also told the council she had spoken to the Co-operative manager of the Petworth branch.

After the meeting, Mrs Humphry said she had previously helped reverse a lorry in the lane which had become stuck during the winter.

Lorries are banned from passing through the centre of Petworth and are supposed to make a detour around, unless they are making deliveries to businesses in the centre of the town. These must follow clearly signed routes.

The Co-op store is in Market Square, at the heart of the town.

Chairman of the town council Ken Lintill suggested as many residents as possible who lived on Grove Lane should write to the Co-operative to express their views on the company’s delivery lorries using the residential street.

Only months ago, the Observer reported on the problems caused by huge lorries travelling through Grove Lane.

Developers’ vehicles travelling towards the Petworth Court House site left tarmac ripped up and huge potholes along the road, as well as causing traffic problems for residents.

Lorries had reportedly been reversing down the road to get to the site – squeezing past residents’ parked cars on a very narrow road.

At the time, Grove Lane homeowner Don Simpson, also the former town clerk for the council, said lorries were ‘destroying the edge of the highways’ and it was ‘an absolute nightmare’ for those living down the lane.

n When the Observer contacted the Co-operative for comment and clarification on the route designated for the drivers, they did not respond before we went to press.