A row has broken out between campaigners and hauliers over pleas to slap a weight limit on a narrow road to prevent lorries squeezing past each other.

Yoxall villagers took to the streets in protest earlier this week to raise awareness of large HGVs rumbling past the village primary school and squeezing past each other on a tight corner.

It came after Staffordshire County Council, which is responsible for highways, announced plans to provide new signs to advise HGV drivers that the route was unsuitable for them, even though there is no weight restriction currently on the route.

There is also set to be engineering improvements and an investigation into restricting HGV movements onto the A515, including from the A513.

Council bosses said they will not be implementing the much-wanted weight limit in the near future because the route is a 'priority route'. This means that if there were to be diversions on the A50 or the A38, the A515 would have to be used by diverted traffic, including lorries.

The implementation of a weight limit would require the reclassification of the A515 to remove its status as a principle route.

Protesters want a weight limit on the narrow A515 through Yoxall to prevent lorries using it as a shortcut from the A38 and the A50.

However, hauliers have taken to the Burton Mail's Facebook page to claim the road is not that dangerous as is being reported despite dramatic footage taken of lorries mounting kerbs to squeeze past each other.

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Hauliers claim that the rise in the population means more demand on deliveries and more lorries on the roads.

Haulier Peter Corr said: "I'm a lorry driver who's used that road plenty. It really isn't that tight or dangerous. That's why, as said in the report, there is not a disproportionate number of accidents on it compared to any other road in the UK. Don't like lorries? Then stop buying stuff."

A peaceful protest at St Peter's School in Yoxall, where pupils, parents and governors are asking for the weight limit to be reduced to 7.5T.
A peaceful protest at St Peter's School in Yoxall, where pupils, parents and governors are asking for the weight limit to be reduced

Paul William agreed, saying: "It's been an A road for longer than most have lived there. Unfortunately it's the way of the world but to have kids protesting at the side of a road used by 'a ridiculous amounts of HGVs' is a joke itself. Clearly not that dangerous."

He also added that the children were behind a 'flimsy fence'.

Villager Gwynneth Cork answered: "Yes, and we have to walk past that fence every day to get our children into school. You've got a school on a road that is used by a ridiculous amount of HGVs that have to mount the pavements because the road isn't wide enough for them - simple as that.

"The main stretch of road through Yoxall was there before lorries; it's too narrow for them because it was designed for horses and carts! And saying we shouldn't live there is just a ridiculous comment to make; a lot have lived here all their lives.

"I'm not going to keep arguing; the fact is I've nearly been squashed twice purely because the road isn't wide enough..

"In my case the lorry was going too fast, came to the tight corner and met another lorry coming the other way, then mounted the pavement to avoid a collision. It just shouldn't happen when there is a perfectly good alternative route."

A peaceful protest at St Peter's School in Yoxall, where pupils, parents and governors are asking for the weight limit to be reduced to 7.5T.
A peaceful protest at St Peter's School in Yoxall, where pupils, parents and governors are asking for the weight limit to be reduced

Beccy Clark said she has also been a victim, saying: "I have had to jump over the church wall myself to avoid being hit by a lorry which mounted the kerb.

"I have had to press my daughters against a house as one came up the kerb right next to us and pray it didn't come any further. I have witnessed a cyclist narrowly avoid a head-on collision with a lorry which came round the hairpin bend on the wrong side of the road. Jump or throw is not an exaggeration.

"When a huge truck comes round a blind bend on the kerb you literally have milliseconds to act. I would invite anyone who doubts to come down at school drop-off time and see what we are dealing with.

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"The issue is that the road is not built for heavy vehicles, no matter how good the driver. The price is going to be someone's life if it continues and there is simply no need for it with a suitable alternative route in the A38."

Rob Kavanagh disputed the fact the A515 was unsuitable, saying: "For goodness sake, HGVs have been 'thundering' through Yoxall for many, many years now and now suddenly it's not suitable? It's an A road with no restrictions on it, so why shouldn't it be used?"

However, Andy Coorr said: "You can't deny, from parents' accounts, that it's a very risky stretch of road though. The primary school is situated next to two tight bends."

Mr Kavanagh said: "Absolutely, and caution by all drivers should be of the utmost importance. That said a little common sense should be exercised by all, if we banned HGVs from every road that has a school situated on it, or where there may be children nearby, then huge swathes of the country would not get their deliveries."

Others have suggested that the road may be made safer if the school entrance was moved.

A peaceful protest at St Peter's School in Yoxall, where pupils, parents and governors are asking for the weight limit to be reduced to 7.5T.
A peaceful protest at St Peter's School in Yoxall, where pupils, parents and governors are asking for the weight limit to be reduced

Matthew Harbon said: "Close the entrance to the school then; build a back gate."

However, Tracy Bailey said: "Why should they have to build a back gate to suit others (ie the HGV drivers)? At the end of the day it’s dangerous for people in general and, plus, parking is down from the school hence why parents have to walk up to it."

Jon Cooke said: "Roads are roads! Lorries are lorries! They have a purpose providing travel and your goods in shops. There are tough regulations for HGVs which trucks have to abide by."

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