New map tells lorry drivers which Suffolk route to use

Andrew Papworth's column on 'elephant racing' lorries provoked sharp debate. Picture: ARCHANT HIVE

The map is aimed at trying to ensure lorries stay on strategic routes like the A14.

A new map has been drawn up by Suffolk County Council to show which are acceptable routes for lorries to use in normal circumstances.

The Suffolk County Council Lorry Route Plan incorporates new developments and roads, schemes such as Air Quality Management Areas, and changes in road safety on lorry routes.

Changes to the map include new by-passes and link roads at Beccles, Eye and Haverhill to divert traffic away from town centres, and downgrading routes at Leiston and Stowlangtoft.

The new edition also features, for the first time, routes in Ipswich.

The map, compiled following a three-month consultation with all parish and town councils in Suffolk, was last updated in 2011 although a minor review was held in 2017.

While hauliers are not compelled to use the routes it does help them identify the best roads for their journey.

It also discourages them from taking routes that can cause disruption, road safety concerns and environmental concerns to local communities.

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There are four categories of route - red, blue, green and yellow - ranging from major strategic routes like the A14 and A12 to local access routes with weight restrictions.

The map can be found on the county council's website.

Richard Smith, cabinet member for transport strategy, said: “We have consulted with town and parish councils across Suffolk to establish what changes they would like to see.

“Where possible and practical to do so we have made changes but, inevitably, some people are going to be disappointed that changes they proposed could not be implemented.

“Suffolk is a predominantly rural county and we can only work within the road network available to us to accommodate modern-day traffic requirements.”

Mr Smith said parishes who feel that local HGV weight restriction traffic orders were not being adhered should sign up to the Lorry Watch scheme.

This is run by Trading Standards, in partnership with Suffolk Highways, who ensure weight restriction orders are enforced. These orders are in place to protect old or weak structures and minimise use of a route unless access is necessary.