Call for new signs to end Petworth’s lorry nightmare

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A new move to try and solve the long standing lorry nightmare in the centre of Petworth has been made by members of Petworth Town Council.

At a full meeting of the council on Thursday evening (October 19) they agreed to step up the existing lorry ban in the centre of the town by asking West Sussex County Council for an extension of the heavy vehicle ‘no go’ areas to include lorries entering North Street and Pound Street.

They are also requesting a ‘7.5 tonne lorry limit except for deliveries’ sign on Angel Street.

Town councillors have fought a long battle to ease the nightmare of large lorries causing congestion in the town and often becoming stuck, damaging historic buildings on the narrow streets of the town centre.

The new move follows recommendations in a transport survey commissioned by the council and shocking figures revealed in a new town council traffic survey.

They showed large numbers of lorries using the town centre, many of them illegally, despite the current signage banning all vehicles over 7.5 tonnes unless they were making deliveries.

The survey was commissioned to provide evidence for West Sussex County Councils highways officers as town councillors pushed for further measures to safeguard the town.

At the time town council chairman Chris Kemp said: “I think it’s going to be quite difficult for them to walk away from these figures.”

Proposing a call for the new lorry restrictions on Thursday Chris told town councillors they would make it clear that there was only way into the town for lorries: “The current signs ban all lorries over 7.5 tonnes on North Street and Pound Street, but they are abused. “The new signs will be clearer and much easier to police because any lorry going through would be breaking the law - at the moment there is the difficulty of recognising whether they are over 7.5 tonnes and whether they are making a delivery.”

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