One of the biggest complaints made by Doddington residents, according to the number of letters we receive, is about the noise, damage and sheer number of heavy goods vehicles travelling through the village.
A typical complaint, taken from an actual letter sent to us last year, reads:
“While I sympathise with hauliers over the cost of diesel, this is not the problem of the villagers. The village roads were never meant to carry these large lorries. The council should therefore impose a STRICT weight limit through Doddington and surrounding villages, which should be enforced by fines if required. There is a good bypass, let them use it.”
These complaints have also been heard at Fenland District Council, which led to a meeting between county councillors and the transport manager of H.E. Payne Transport, the haulage company with customers including Chatteris-based Greenvale Produce.
The letter we received from county councillor David Connor about the meeting stated:
“We argued with great vigour about the damaged buildings in Doddington, safety, speeding etc. was untenable and a compromise must be reached.”
The transport manager admitted that 72 heavy goods vehicles travelled through Doddington every day, but the cost implication of going another route was too expensive to consider.
“Going through Floodsferry instead of Doddington would cost £3.50 per movement based on 72 movements a day, which would add £1000 per week to his diesel bill that he could ill afford.”
A compromise was eventually agreed, which was:
“All [H.E. Payne Transport] lorries would do a speed restriction when travelling through Doddington – e.g. 40 mph to 30 mph and 30 mph to 20 mph — with immediate effect.”
Since then, we seem to have received less complaint letters about lorries through the village.
In fact, a speed watch enforcement was carried out down Newgate Street in Doddington on 5 March that suggests the lorry speed restriction is working.
An email from March Police Station to the Doings said:
“A total of 143 vehicles were logged in one hour passing the speed watch equipment and 10 vehicles exceeded the 30 MPH limit set for this section of road. It is interesting to note no heavy goods vehicles exceeded the speed limit during this time.”
But the question is, have you noticed an improvement in recent months? Or do you think more needs to be done about large lorries travelling through Doddington?
You can comment in the text box below, on Facebook, on Twitter or by email.
– Tim Lince