One of the councillors in Kent during a public meeting directly address HGV drivers across the UK, blaming them for “ruining the lives of people in Kent.” Councillor Sean Holden, a member for Cranbook at Kent County Council, claims that a single lorry driving through his village does more damage to routes than 10,000 cars do on a regular basis.
He stated lorries are responsible for: damaging hedges, scratching vehicles as well as one of the main causes for potholes in Cranbrook and expressed that the local authorities should consider a ban in some areas not designed for lorries to pass through.
Speaking with the environment and transport committee during the meeting he said “It’s time for lorries to get out of lives in Kent! It’s time that the economics of haulier business stops trumping the quality of lives of people. One 40-tonne lorry causes the same damage as 10,000 cars.”
Adding: “When you see a lorry going down the roads, like I do, between Cranbrook and Benenden knocking down the hedges on both sides with its wing mirrors, that’s doing the equivalent to, if you have half a dozen of those down there over a day, around a year’s worth of cars.
“Those roads are not built for that. The potholes, that are the bane of the lives of everybody, costs us millions of pounds. This is a direct consequence of heavy vehicles using those roads. I want to see a strategy come into place because people’s lives are being ruined.”
He made an additional suggesting that Kent follow suit with Leicestershire County Council’s policy and restrict HGV access on roads in Kent. He went on to say: “87% of the lorries that come into this county are not coming to Kent. They are going straight through. They are causing damage but most important - they are ruining the lives of people.”
“It’s a consistent harm on people’s lives such as the pollution of air, pollution of noise and the severance of communities. For example, Sissinghurst the village is basically divided in half by a major road.
“Get lorries out of lives in Kent. People will thank us for it until the end of time. If Mr Whiting could put it about I bet there would be statues of him.”
Locals who have become concerned about the impact and damages lorry drivers could cause in their towns are joining a volunteer service: Lorry Watch. Reporting any incidents they see from drivers to the local Kent Police allowing them to take further action.
Many have recommended that lorry drivers should in future plan their route through the council’s online Freight Gateway. This provides recommended routes that drivers won’t struggle through as witnessed by Kent’s local council in towns such as Cranbrook.