Villagers desperate to stop hundreds of 'thundering' lorries using roads as 'rat run'
Villagers are desperate to stop hundreds of lorries “thundering” past their houses every month.
More than 400 people have signed a petition calling for a lorry route network to encourage HGVs to use main roads rather than smaller roads.
Residents in Ringmer, near Lewes, complain that the village is used as a rat run by lorries.
People say they are not able to sleep or are too afraid to venture out along narrow pavements next to the lorries.
The petition was presented to East Sussex County Council on Tuesday.
Ringmer Green Party campaigner Lucy Agace said: “The comments on the petition are heart breaking and show how lives are being blighted with people unable to sleep at night, or afraid to venture out along narrow pavements right next to thundering HGVs. This issue is particularly affecting people with disabilities and those with small children.”
Ron Westwood, who lives in Ringmer, said: “We all welcome our HGV drivers doing deliveries, but we need to see an end to places like Ringmer being a rat run for HGVs which could and should use nearby A-roads.
“Other county councils including West Sussex have grappled with the problem and introduced lorry route networks. We need East Sussex County Council to do the same.”
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A traffic survey by the council at Earwig Corner in May 2022 counted nearly 600 HGVs in both directions driving through Ringmer between 7am and 7pm.
Earwig Corner is the junction that connects the A26 to the B2192 into Ringmer.
People held a protest in October calling for the lorry route network.
The most recent government figures show an almost nine per cent increase in miles travelled in Great Britain from September 2020 to September 2021.
Green Party district councillor and parliamentary candidate Emily O’Brien said: “While we all support our local drivers and deliveries, evidence shows that HGV traffic is increasing, and that villages like Ringmer are being used as a rat run.
“Although the petition was inspired by Ringmer, unnecessary HGV traffic is a problem in so many villages and towns, and our petition has been signed by residents right across East Sussex. The county council has been closing its eyes to the problem and it's time we saw action.”
An East Sussex County Council spokeswoman said: “We can confirm we have received this petition, and we are always happy to consider suggestions for roads where the environment for residents and other road users could be improved.
“As few roads across the county are fully suitable for HGVs, the council’s policy is that these vehicles should be able to use A and B roads across the network rather than be concentrated on a small number of selected roads.
“Restrictions have been put in place on some roads which are considered especially unsuitable for HGVs but it is important to note that, even with restrictions, HGVs are still able to use these roads if delivering to residential properties or businesses within that area.”