Lorry mounts pavement at site safety meeting

Lorry crash on Burnham Road, Epworth.
Lorry crash on Burnham Road, Epworth.

Councillors who met to discuss safety improvements at Epworth’s A161 crossroads, watched as a lorry mounted the pavement in front of them.

The graphic illustration of what can happen at the controversial spot where lorries have ploughed in to houses twice, highlighted the need for action, it was reported at a recent Epworth town council meeting.

North Lincolnshire Council leader Liz Redfern and officers met with town councillors Fish, Wilson and Thorpe to discuss the problem of the tight junction and its heavy use by HGVs travelling through Epworth.

The site meeting followed discussion at previous meetings on how to improve the safety aspect for residents, pedestrians and motorists.

A one-way system, speed restrictions, a weight ban on HGVs and improved footpaths are all among proposals put forward. Work on the kerb edges has been completed, said Coun Liz Redfern.

Katherine Dyson, who was in her High Street-Burnham Road corner home when a lorry smashed in to it after failing to negotiate the bend in July, addressed the town council about her concerns.

She said the high number of lorries using Station Road and West End Road to access the A18 or turn to Belton has increased. More HGVs are also using the junction to turn right to Sandtoft, after a weight restriction ban was enforced at Belton, she added, that is compromising people’s safety even more.

The meeting heard of possible proposals for a staggered junction and four-way traffic lights with a timing reactor that would measure the length of the queue. This is to be explored, to see if it would be effective. Town councillors said they were encouraged by officers’ comments at the site meeting.

Coun Peter Davies asked for a sign banning HGVs from Epworth to be placed on the A161 near Belton, and for the council to “push hard to make drivers use the A18-A161 route to allow only one line of traffic.”

It was pointed out that the co-operation of local companies using HGVs would be necessary for this, and might not be forthcoming.

Chairman Don Stewart said there should be no compromise, and no HGVs should be allowed through Epworth other than for access. Coun Liz Redfern said officers had taken all points made away with them, and are working on the viability of proposals.