Cambridge residents are furious about HGV night time rat run
PUBLISHED: 13:45 08 June 2018
Iliffe Media Ltd
Residents pass petition to Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner over lorry issue
Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner has condemned Highways England’s failure to stop a city road being used as a ‘rat run’ for HGVs as “inadequate”.
The agency, which is in the process of a massive multi-million pound A14 upgrade, insists it is doing everything it can to prevent lorries from using King’s Hedges Road as a route through the city in the middle of the night.
Night-time closures of the A14 have prompted HGV drivers to disregard diversion signs, leaving local residents fuming and fearing for their health.
Fed-up resident Elaine Gristwood has now handed a petition to Labour MP Mr Zeichner and said her husband’s health had suffered as a result of the increase in lorry traffic through the night.
Mrs Gristwood, said: “My husband Chris suffers from asthma and with all the fumes from the lorries coming in the house, even with all the doors and windows shut, he has been wheezing and using his inhaler more than normal.
“There are diversion signs up but the lorries are supposed to use the M11, go up to the A505 and back across the A11 and then join the A14 but they are not. This is a rat run for lorries. I once counted more than 100 in an hour.
“It is giving us sleepless nights and shaking the houses. They are 40-ton lorries. The A14 closes at 9pm at night until 6am and they come through during that time. There are children whose sleep are being affected.”
Another resident, Doug Whyte, added: “The road will need resurfacing because of the lorries. My house shakes. I am on more medication now as a result, I just cannot sleep.
“Highways England is not taking any responsibility for it because they don’t have to.”
However, the authority insists they are doing all they can to stop lorries using the cut-through.
Mike Evans, senior programme manager, said: “King’s Hedges Road is not generally part of our diversion route for when the A14 is closed and we are working to try and prevent drivers from using it.
“There may, however, be exceptional circumstances when it is unavoidable to use King’s Hedges Road, but we will keep it to a minimum.
“We are in touch with haulage groups to help their drivers understand the importance of using the signed diversion routes which avoid Cambridge and minimise the impact on residents.
“We will keep in touch with local residents and will do everything we can to minimise the impact on their communities while we complete this vital A14 upgrade.”
Mr Zeichner said: “I intend to take the petition to Highways England because this matter is not being managed as effectively as it could be. These lorries should be diverted elsewhere. Residents in Cambridge are being short-changed.
“Highways England’s response so far has been inadequate and that is what I will be saying to their chief executive. It is unacceptable. I want something done very quickly.”
Meanwhile, Lucy Frazer, South East Cambridgeshire’s Tory MP, raised the matter of noise disturbance from the A14 works affecting Histon and Impington residents with Highways England, which agreed measures to mitigate it.