New twist in fight for Petworth lorry ban

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There was a new twist in the fight for a Petworth town centre lorry ban when it was discovered there was no weight restriction on Angel Street.

Describing the current lorry route as ‘a bit of a dogs dinner’ Petworth town councillor Michael Peet told fellow town councillors at a meeting last night (Wednesday, April 19) something needed to be done: “What is interesting about how the law works at the moment is that lorries can come in and not be in breach of anything, but they have to exit through roads with weight restrictions.”

Town council chairman Chris Kemp said Petworth was still suffering from some 20 lorries over 7.5 tonnes coming through town which were not making deliveries.

“No business in the town requires deliveries from 20 tonners, but theoretically they are allowed in and have to breach the law to get out again.”

Roger Hanauer said the problem stemmed from signage at the Well Diggers pub junction.

“There are signs with a white lorry on them pointing left and exactly the same signs pointing right which say ‘deliveries only’ Foreign drivers cannot assimilate that and off they go and it needs sorting out.”

But he said there was also a safety element to the growing lorry nightmare with the possibility of a repeat of the tragic incident in Midhurst where a woman was killed by a lorry: “it might happen here if a lorry gets stuck and people are concerned with extricating it and don’t consider pedestrians particularly with the Co-op going over the road with no pedestrian crossing.”

Inspector Kris Ottery told the meeting police had received no reports of problems with lorries. Chris Kemp said Petworth people needed to ‘up’ their reporting of the frequent lorry incidents so police could understand the problem.

A survey is being carried out by Petworth Business Association to show businesses do not use large lorries for deliveries.

Town councillors, who want a weight restriction on Angel Street, are also planning to use pressure pads to log ‘mega lorries’ coming through the town centre unnecessarily.

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