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Highways England confirms weight limits could be introduced on A515 through Yoxall and Kings Bromley

New weight limits could be introduced to stop lorries driving through some villages around Lichfield.

Residents have raised concerns about the number of HGVs using the A515 in Yoxall and Kings Bromley.

But now Highways England have written to MP Michael Fabricant confirming that weight limits could be added to the route.

Michael Fabricant MP

“Heavy trucks are making the lives of residents in Yoxall and Kings Bromley a misery as drivers use the narrow A515 with its hairpin bends as a rat run,” Mr Fabricant said. “Damage has been done to property and one of these days a child will be killed as these heavy trucks often mount the pavement.

“In the past, county councillors have claimed they do not have the powers to put weight restrictions on the A515 as it has been designated as a Primary Route Network (PRN).

“Legal opinion in the House of Commons Library and officials at the Department of Transport both disagree, however. They say that the council does indeed have the power to undesignate the A515 as a PRN just as easily as they put it on given the existence of more suitable routes such as the A38 and the A50. And they say the Council also has the authority to add weight restrictions. The power is in their hands.

“And now Highways England have written formally to me saying they have no objection to weight restrictions beiong imposed on the A515.”

The letter from Nick Harris, operations director of Highways England, said his organisation “did not object” in principle to a change, but said plans would need to be in place to temporarily revoke the weight restriction if the A38 was closed.

Mr Fabricant added: “I have now written to John Henderson, the chief executive of Staffordshire County Council, explaining there is no impediment to a weight limit being imposed on the A515 subject to the provisions of a blockage on the A38.

“I have asked that he personally now encourages officials to get on with it and to stop prevaricating. Officers of the county council no longer have any excuse not to act.

“I also hope that the parish councils engage with Highways England so this HGV misery can finally be resolved. I am more than happy to facilitate this.”

Clive Thomson, Staffordshire County Council’s Commissioner for Connected and Sustainable County, said the full implications of any weight restriction would need to be fully explored.

“Highways England is a member of the Staffordshire Freight and Communities Forum set up by the county council to look at complex issues such as this, along with parish councils and the emergency services,” he said.

“We all want a resolution to the problem, one which looks after villagers’ interests and keeps Staffordshire moving, and we are aware of Highways England’s suggestion, but we all also need to understand the full implications of any proposed solutions, including how they are implemented and how they affect other routes and residents.”

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