'Rat-running' wagons and speeding drivers in Kendal to come under microscope (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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'Rat-running' wagons and speeding drivers in Kendal to come under microscope
RESIDENTS are demanding action over a number of alleged traffic violations reported in Kendal.
Streets are being used as a 'rat-run' by lorries visiting the Kendal Fell Waste Transfer site near Greenside, they claim.
And they say heavy wagons are also rumbling along Queen’s Road in defiance of a 7.5 tonnes weight limit.
Meanwhile, motorists are breaking the 20mph speed limit on Queen's Road and going too fast along Windermere Road also, say Labour Party activists.
Its members organised a placard protest and Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has also called for a ‘speeding summit’ to sort out the issues.
Labour activist and former Kendal mayor Marilyn Molloy, of Greenside, said: “The waste transfer site at the top of Greenside was given approval on the understanding that heavy wagons would always use the slip road on to the bypass – except when emptying bins in the Fellside area.
“All we want is for SLDC bin wagons to stand by the original agreement and not to use Greenside as a rat run.”
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But South Lakeland District Council says the rat-running does not involve their vehicles.
SLDC street scene manager Nick Pearson said its vehicles adhered to the weight restrictions on Greenside, apart from when they were carrying out their statutory duties, and used the slip road when using the Kendal Fell site.
“Our vehicles are fitted with a tracking system, this system will flag up if for any reason a vehicle is found to be in this restricted area. Unfortunately, SLDC cannot legislate for the numerous other waste collection vehicles which use the Greenside site.”
Of other issues in the area, resident and Labour activist Virginia Branney added: “People have been complaining about overweight lorries using Queens Road to avoid town centre traffic, even though the weight limit is clearly signposted.
“Despite the 20mph limit, vehicles drive between the speed bumps when the coast is clear – often at high speed.”
Of the issues at the top of Windermere Road near the new housing development, local Labour chairman Paul Braithwaite said: “There is real problem with speeding on Windermere Road, particularly heading into town, but our councillors have made no provision in budgets for traffic calming measures.
“We fully support moves by local residents who are calling on SLDC to fund effective traffic calming measures through the Community Infrastructure Levy – a proposed charge on developers.”
A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said its vehicles only use the slip road onto the by-pass. “If there are any contraventions of the Fellside and Queens Road weight restrictions taking place, then this would be a highways offence for Police to enforce.”
Mr Farron wants Cumbria’s police commissioner, senior managers and staff from both CCC and SLDC to come together with SITA UK to discuss the issues.
And Lib Dem Kendal Town Councillor Matthew Severn said: “Every resident I speak to tells me that speeding on Windermere Road is a major issue. I will keep working with residents to tackle it; I hope that this summit will bring about real change.
"It will help us bring everyone to the table and hammer out a solution that works for the residents and businesses in the town."
A spokesman for Sita UK, said: "We recognise that traffic restrictions on local roads exist for a reason and sympathise with the local residents who have been inconvenienced by those that choose to ignore the law.
"All heavy goods vehicles accessing and exiting SITA UK’s Waste transfer Station at Kendall Fell are required do so via a private slip road off the bypass. This is the designated route into the site and all of our contractors and customers are instructed to use this route.
However, in light of recent concerns, we will remind all of our contractors and customers about local traffic restrictions and once more emphasise that the designated route must be used at all times."
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