Campaign is launched to keep lorries out of Midhurst Old Town

A CAMPAIGN to deter heavy lorries from the narrow streets of the historic centre of Midhurst has been launched.

It is being led by editor of ‘Midhurst Pages’ John Trueman who set up the online service to help promote the town.

He said he had the backing of residents, landowners and businesses in the historic centre.

Mr Trueman is campaigning for black and yellow warning signs at the southern end of the town urging lorry drivers not to follow their sat navs which currently direct motorists along Chichester Road, Red Lion Street and Knockhundred Row.

There have been numerous incidents of lorries becoming stuck or damaging historic buildings in the area.

“There are so many towns and villages in the country who suffer this problem,” said Mr Trueman, “and these black and yellow signs with appropriate wording have helped them.”

He added: “The Government is bringing in legislation to oblige Sat Nav companies to update their systems, but this is expected to be slow and uncertain to start with. In the meanwhile, mayhem continues, lorries and cars lose their way and property and vehicles are damaged.

He said he now hoped to persuade West Sussex County Council that the signs were necessary through the County Local Committee which takes place in Lodsworth Village Hall on Tuesday.

At the same time Midhurst Town Council is approaching Sat Nav companies directly in a bid to persuade them to update their information to drivers to include the new width restrictions in the old town .

Clerk to the town council Joan Hursthouse told the Observer she had contacted companies pointing out that width restriction signs now existed.

She said the information would also be passed from the county council to Ordnance Survey which would then also be passed to sat nav companies.