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Bid to divert HGVs into California car park in Leek

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 08, 2014

By Abbey Buxton

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VILLAGE leaders have called for a large town centre car park to be earmarked for use by stop-over lorries.

Cheddleton Parish Council has asked Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to allow trucks to stay in Leek's Vicarage Road Car Park, also known as California Car Park.

It comes after the village council received a series of complaints about lorry drivers parking in their parish, particularly Harrison Way.

California car park has previously been used by heavy vehicles, which is why the parish council made the request for it to be reconsidered as a permanent lorry park.

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However, the district council has now sent a a letter to the parish authority saying it was not prepared to allow the move, and that lorries were originally barred from the car park due to complaints from householders living nearby.

The letter, read out during a parish council meeting, stated: "While this facility was in place some time ago, this was ceased due to the significant noise pollution, disturbance and traffic problems caused to nearby residents and to Leek town centre.

"The council's Off-Street Parking Order, which applies to the council's car parks including Vicarage Road, imposes a weight restriction on vehicles over three-and-a-half tonnes.

"This weight restriction, along with the height barrier on Vicarage Road car park, excludes any oversized vehicles.

"The council currently has no plans to reopen the Vicarage Road car park as a lorry park for the reasons detailed above.

"To assist in providing a long-term solution I would advise the parish council to contact Staffordshire County Council, as the relevant highways authority in Staffordshire.

"This may include implementing a lorry parking ban on Harrison Way, or installing signage directing lorries to areas where lorry parking is available, such as industrial estates where the impact to local residents may be minimised."

Responding to the letter, the parish council agreed to write back stating it was not happy with the explanation.

It refuted complaints said to be from residents near the Vicarage Road site, as none of the three district councillors on the parish authority had any knowledge of there ever being a problem

Members also pointed out that Keele services is the only official lorry park in Staffordshire, and believed it was up to the district council to liaise with the county council to come up with a long term solution to lorry parking problems.

In response, a district council spokesman said: "The council made the changes at Vicarage Road car park several years ago in response to complaints about nuisance, noise and pollution.

"To reinstate this facility for lorries now would be to re-create this situation.

"Staffordshire County Council is responsible for highways and we advised the parish council to contact them to see if they could assist with on-street solutions as this is not something the district council can authorise.

"It is regrettable that the parish council is dissatisfied with the response, but this remains the most appropriate way of addressing the issues around lorry parking.

"We will liaise with colleagues at the county council to make them aware of the parish council's concerns."

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