Mega-lorries coming to Audlem?

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Today's news in the Sunday Times that the European Union could be preparing to overrule British objections to 60-tonne mega lorries would, if true, increase the need to get the A525 through Audlem off the Primary Route Network for Heavy Goods Vehicles.

So-called road trains consist of a juggernaut with a trailer fixed to the back. They are more than a third longer and heavier than those currently allowed in Britain.

The British government banned mega-lorry trials last year but the European Parliament could adopt new rules as early as next year, the newspaper reports. These would allow the juggernauts to travel freely across Europe whatever national concerns there may be about safety and environmental impacts.

At present, vehicles longer than 18.7m (61ft) or heavier than 44 tons are prohibited, except in Sweden and Finland. The planned new maximum length is 25.25m or 83ft. These would weigh up to 60 tons.

Stuck!It is likely that the first such truck to pass through Audlem would get well and truly stuck on the bends in Stafford Street and cause traffic chaos as well as being a major safety issue. Residents will also wonder about the potential damage to their properties.

Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire have already jointly agreed to remove the A525 from the Primary Route Network. Detailed proposals were submitted to the Department of Transport early this year but the counties' highways officials are still awaiting confirmation of the move from London.

The thought of an 83ft lorry weighing 60 tons en route to Ireland irrevocably stuck to the church wall in Audlem may now concentrate minds. Audlem is, after all, on the shortest Primary Route from Britain's main container ports to Holyhead and Ireland.

The arguments for de-priming the road have been agreed — now action is needed.

 

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