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Complaints expected over hazard closure

PUBLISHED: 16:58 28 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:36 03 March 2010

PARISH councillors are bracing themselves for a barrage of complaints from truckers now that the go-ahead has been given to close a layby they use as a short-cut home.

PARISH councillors are bracing themselves for a barrage of complaints from truckers now that the go-ahead has been given to close a layby they use as a short-cut home.

The layby just the Ipswich side of the dock spur roundabout is said to be "an appalling health hazard" because of the mess left by lorry drivers.

But truckers who live in the village are expected to kick up a fuss about the closure – even though work costing £20,000 is likely to start within a few months to get rid of the overnight stop.

Drivers park their lorries in the layby and then go through a gap in the fence – which vandals have cut down many times, despite repairs – onto a footpath leading to Langstons on the Farmlands estate.

They then sleep overnight at home and go back to their lorries next day.

Villagers, who have waged a two-year battle to get it close, have become fed up with the abuse of the layby. They claim some not local lorry drivers have thrown "bags of human excrement" and other rubbish over the fence into an area close to homes and where youngsters play.

Parish clerk George Harlow said the Highways Agency and its trunk road managers, Owen Williams, had now decided that the layby should be closed.

"That is very good news – they just need the approval of the local authorities and the police, and we hope they are still of the same view that we are," he said.

"I think we are bound to get some complaints from lorry drivers living in Trimley St Mary as they will not be happy about this, but we shall have to wait and see."

Six options were considered for the layby – including leaving it as it is, putting up an 8ft closeboarded fence between the layby and Langstons to stop pedestrian access, closing it except for a small area for a police patrol car, and banning overnight parking.

Police favoured closure because of the danger of lorries pulling in and out of the layby with traffic coming off the dock spur roundabout from Felixstowe port.

The lay-by was also said to be redundant now a huge new and improved one has been built on the Port of Felixstowe Road just 150 yards away, and which lorries pass to use the Trimley one.

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