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Political heavyweights give campaign fresh hope

Tuesday 26th July 2011 (Andrew Griffiths)
Political heavyweights give campaign fresh hope

POLITICAL leaders have met with a campaign group calling for a weight restriction on a major Burton route to see for themselves how bad traffic levels are.

Shobnall Traffic Action Group (STAG) said it was ‘delighted’ with the positive outcome of the meeting held yesterday.

Civic officials who attended the gathering included Burton MP Andrew Griffiths, leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council Richard Grosvenor, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways Mike Maryon, head of highways management James Bailey and Richard Rayson, the community highways liaison manager.

They met with STAG, which is calling for a 7.5-tonne weight limit restriction on the B5017, to find out more about the highprofile campaign to clamp down on hauliers using the road as a shortcut to Burton business parks.

Protesters say HGVs using the road cause houses to shake, damage cars, and create noise nuisance and danger for local schoolchildren and pedestrians.

These were just a handful of issues put forward to officials at the meeting.

Mr Griffiths initially addressed attendants by claiming that if something wasn’t done soon about the problem, someone could end up being seriously injured or even killed.

He said: “The community is at breaking point and something needs to be done.

We’re not targeting specific companies, we just need to find a suitable solution to try to sort the problem out.We’re not targeting specific companies, we just need to find a suitable solution to try to sort the problem out.

“This has been going on for years and it’s getting worse and worse. It is making local people’s lives a misery.”

Councillor Maryon echoed the MP’s views and said: “We recognise the problems locals are facing and we want to try to fix it.

“STAG is doing the right thing to try to get this sorted out and, after the meeting, we will look into how we can help solve the issue.”

Jan Shand, who is spearheading the campaign, told the Mail: “I’m pleasantly impressed with the outcome of the meeting.

“They could clearly see how bad the problem is and I’m glad they have acknowledged our concerns.

“The officials from highways said they want to conduct their own official survey in September to collect evidence of traffic volume and specific companies to take the matter further.

“They also promised to keep STAG informed every step of the way.

“I was very impressed how they actually listened and sympathised with us.

“The group will now meet to discuss how we plan to take things further.

“Today just goes to show that we are a proper group and we couldn’t have got this far without support of the public, so we urge people to continue helping us with our fight to get a weight restriction.”

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