Lorry ban 'successful beyond expectations' to be made permanent in Ulceby, Kirmington and other villages

Ulceby is one of several villages that has trialled a traffic weight limit zone, and will now have it permanently
Ulceby is one of several villages that has trialled a traffic weight limit zone, and will now have it permanently -Credit:GrimsbyLive/Donna Clifford

A trialled 7.5 tonne traffic weight limit zone to stop HGVs thundering through several small villages in North Lincolnshire is being made permanent.

The Ferry Ward area weight zone covers Ulceby, Kirmington, Thornton Curtis, Burnham, Croxton and Wootton. A trial has been in place since late 2022 to ban lorries from the area.

Ferry Ward Cllr Richard Hannigan said it has been "successful beyond our expectations". Because of the positive feedback, the scheme is being made permanent by North Lincolnshire Council, despite the Road Haulage Association's (RHA) opposition.

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The scheme has come about because of HGV traffic concerns raised by Ulceby Road Safety Group, Ulceby Parish Council and Ferry Ward councillors in the last few years. "Absolutely fantastic, should have been done years ago," said Stuart Smith of the Ulceby Road Safety Group about the weight limit being made permanent.

"I think praise should be added to Richard Hannigan and the other ward councillors for persisting with these traffic issues that we have, especially with Ulceby village," he said. "Without the Ulceby Road Safety Group and the parish council working together, it probably wouldn't have got as far as it has done."

There is an amendment to the original order made. Following Humberside Police feedback, there is a suspension clause for the weight zone. This will apply during 'DRUE', diversion route for unplanned events, or during road closure, or roadworks, on the adjacent road network.

Mr Smith indicated the DRUE element was expected, but was not satisfied with the roadworks suspension element. "We're not happy with that," he said, commenting the feedback had come through after a six month period for complaints.

Despite this, he said the traffic order had "certainly made a difference" with the normal run of the mill HGV traffic the villages had previously endured. Cllr Hannigan concurred: "It's been successful beyond our expectations, really. It was a long old campaign to get it done, and we got there."

"We were really pleased when Humberside Police got on board with this," he said, adding they had originally been sceptical on the benefits it could produce. "The original traffic order was flawed in that it did leave us vulnerable to a situation when it was not enforceable," he said of the amendment. "I do share Stuart's concerns that suspending the weight limit could allow HGVs through Ulceby."

Now a less frequent site, lorries through the village of Ulceby in early 2022
Now a less frequent site, lorries through the village of Ulceby in early 2022 -Credit:GrimsbyLive/Donna Clifford

But there was a positive relationship with National Highways, who mostly run the adjacent roads that may lead to the suspension clause's activation. "Going forward, I'm pretty confident, it'll be robust." He added it was a better place to be to have the weight limit in at most times.

The RHA, which represents over 8,000 member companies who operate HGVs, vans and lorries, objected to the traffic order. It argued the alternative routes would add time, cost and have a negative environmental impact, with more fuel used. But ward councillors reported the trial had resulted in improved quality of life for residents, all parish councils are in favour, and there has been positive feedback from local policing.

Temporary signage on the A160 will be updated in line with the scheme being made permanent. "I'd like to thank Stuart Smith of the Ulceby Road Safety Group," said Cllr Hannigan.

"They campaigned hard to bring the weight limit into the ward. Right at the heart of this, the safety group have been a real positive force." He looked forward to continue working with them to improve highway conditions within Ferry Ward.

Goxhill is another Ferry Ward village that has had issues with HGVs going through it. A consultation event was held at its village hall to discuss possible solutions. Cllr Hannigan was asked for the latest update on this, and stated it is currently with North Lincolnshire Council highways team working out possible solutions. "The issues around South End, Goxhill, have been a real concern for quite a long time. If the solution was easy, we'd have solved it right now."

"What they're trying to achieve," he said of the council highways department looking through possible options, "is a solution that's satisfactory for the whole community".

"We're not going to give up on that one, we'll keep at it," he promised.