Friday, November 03, 2006

Baltimore Road

A 'summit' meeting this afternoon with Cllr Len Gregory, cabinet member for highways and a number of senior officers about the menace of heavy lorries trying to access business sites on Baltimore Road.

There is a haulage company operating there unlawfully and they have been responsible for a great deal of damage since moving in in March.

Some 15 bollards were installed following a site meeting a few weeks ago and four of those have already been removed.

It seems as though they gave the green light to other businesses to start using juggernauts for deliveries. The Highways Department does not believe these side roads are suitable for these vehicles, neither do I nor the local residents.

The good news is that the illegal business has been told to move by planning officials. Enforcement action will begin in a few days time IF they have not managed to make arrangements to move.

The meeting was attended by Clive Dutton, the director who heads both planning and economic development and he is going to get his officers to organise a business forum down there.

I have been quite forthright in the local papers that I don't believe any business operating down there needs regular deliveries by juggernaut. There are many, many small engineering companies using white vans and trucks for distribution. I once knew a guy who supplied JCB digger scoops from the back of an estate car.

If I were a business operating down there I would be worried by all this controversy so we are hoping a forum can help the businesses secure their own future by behaving responsibly.

In addition highways promised they will work closely with the local school, Dorrington, to get a Safe Routes scheme in. That will attract upwards of £20,000 for road safety works. The school began this a couple of years ago and even walked round the block - and I joined them - to demonstrate their commitment. Having juggernauts getting stuck on the estate and trying to turn round and find their way is a serious hazard for the young children who use this school.


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