Local MP, Philip Dunne, was in Clun last week to see the impact of HGV vehicles causing damage and disruption, often with drivers of large articulated vehicles being directed down unsuitable roads by satnav.
Mr Dunne was invited by the new chairman of Clun town council, Ryan Davies, and was joined by deputy chairman Bryan Angell, Shropshire Councillor Nigel Hartin, and Councillor Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s portfolio holder for physical infrastructure.
There was clear evidence of busy traffic causing damage and problems on the A488 through the town and yet another accident damaging the bridge over the River Clun, which has repeatedly been struck by large vehicles crossing the bridge in recent years.
Mr Dunne said: “There has been a persistent problem with large vehicles, in particular articulated HGVs as evidenced by the camera installed some years ago to monitor the problem and identify culprits who damage the bridge.
“It seems many of the problems are caused by drivers either not seeing or ignoring signage warning that the road is unsuitable for large HGVs, often directed to use the road by satnav systems. I agreed to discuss with the Transport Minister to see if more can be done to empower local authorities to persuade satellite navigation providers to identify ‘pinch points’ on their highways for which they are responsible, which should be avoided, especially those which are totally unsuitable for large vehicles whose drivers are not familiar with the road. It is not just a county-wide issue but a national one.
“In Clun’s case, although there is signage which advises vehicles more than 10m long to avoid the route, this is not enforceable – drivers are now more reliant on electronic navigation systems to decide which route to take, so I wish to explore whether this may become part of the solution, not just causing the problem.
“Everyone wants to avoid the problems residents of Clun have had to put up with for years, which seems to get worse each year. Local people have become exasperated by the bridge and other properties being struck by vehicles, and lorries regularly getting stuck around the Market Square, causing traffic backlogs for other people trying to get through.”
Mr Dunne concluded: “I shall pursue this idea and see if it is practical and can contribute to a solution to this blight on Clun and other communities with pinch points in roads constructed for the horse and cart rather than the articulated lorries of today.”