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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Action group aims to cut impact of heavy lorries

An action group has been set up to tackle the increasing numbers of large lorries using the busy A596.

billfinlay 0905
CHAIRMAN: Coun Bill Finlay

A meeting was called by Aspatria Town Council because its members were concerned about the number of HGVs using the Thursby to Workington route.

They are particularly concerned about the number of trucks loaded with timber going to Workington’s Iggesund Paperboard plant to feed its biomass boiler.

Councillor Bill Finlay chaired the meeting on Wednesday and said the action group’s function would be to make sure that drivers reduced their speeds, alternative methods of transport were seriously considered and that a one-way route be introduced so that lorries feed the factory via the A66 and return along the A596.

The action group will meet again soon to discuss their next steps.

Coun Finlay told the 19 people at the meeting about a Newcastle study which had found that the biomass plant was the most carbon neutral method of providing the fuel needed for the factory.

He added: “The study showed that to use wind power would require 56 wind turbines – half as many again as are already in Allerdale.

“The company has also been told that it cannot be served from the National Grid because of the amount of energy needed.

“The biomass plant, according to the study, was the greenest and best option for the factory.”

The Siddick plant needs 517,000 tonnes of wood a year which arrive via the A595 and A596.

Representatives from Iggesund were not invited to the meeting, but Jonny Lowe, head of the firm’s human resources, said last week that it had been working with the county council to try and relieve anxiety over the issue.

He said the company had increased its use of the Port of Workington by 600 per cent in the past 12 months and continued to look at different ways of transporting raw materials to the factory.

He said that Iggesund required the highest standard from its contractors and contracted transport companies to deliver timber along approved routes.

Mr Lowe added: “The A596 is an approved route and Iggesund is not able, therefore, to dictate which roads the haulage companies used as long as they are on these approved roads.”

Have your say

There used to be Government grants for railfreight facilities which made transporting goods by train more competitive against road haulage which gets hidden subsidies.
The Coalition's first budget in July 2011 slashed the grants. So now there are more lorries on the A596 and other roads.
Reinstate the grants and traffic will go back to rail.

Posted by Michael on 12 May 2014 at 17:35

I don't know if people are aware but vehicles over 7.5 tons are not allowed
to do more than 40mph on any A-road . I don't know why the police don't enforce the rule especially those vehicles carrying wood to Iggesunds

Posted by John Atkinson on 9 May 2014 at 21:01

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