Lorry Watch cuts village HGV menace

PEOPLE power has won out in picturesque Papplewick where a community reporting scheme has dramatically cut the number of lorry drivers using the village as a ‘rat run’.

Under the Community Lorry Watch scheme, residents have seen the number of HGVs rumbling through the village fall by 40% since it was set up in July last year.

The scheme gives residents a convenient way to report vehicles they believe are breaking the 7.5 tonne weight restriction on the village’s roads.

Residents had called for action after Papplewick became plagued by drivers of large vehicles using local roads as a shortcut — despite the clear weight-limit.

Coun David McCracken, chairman of Papplewick Parish Council, said: “Like a lot of villages, we’ve been plagued by heavy traffic using our streets as a shortcut, especially heavy goods vehicles.

“However there has been a noticeable reduction in the amount of lorries since we started the Community Lorry Watch scheme, which is backed up by the statistics. Now it’s the exception rather than the norm to see big lorries in our village.”

Notts County Council’s trading standards officers, acting on the information provided by villagers, have issued 23 warning letters and 29 official cautions, as well as prosecuting two drivers.

Both prosecutions were for being seen breaking the weight restriction four times in one day.

Coun Mick Murphy (Con), of Hucknall, who is Notts County Council’s Cabinet member for community safety, said:

“Thanks to the local community coming together to act as our eyes and ears, we’ve been able to drive down the number of drivers treating Papplewick like a ‘rat run’.

“We want to work with other communities suffering a similar problem and I hope that other Nottinghamshire villages will see the success of Community Lorry Watch in Papplewick and now come forward.”

Residents can submit reports by visiting the Notts County Council website.

For more information about Community Lorry Watch, ring trading standards at Notts County Council on 0115 9772802.