Action by Kent County Council tackles rural lorry chaos

Disruption and chaos caused by lorries using country lanes is being tackled in a "major action programme", Kent County Council (KCC) has said.

The council said a dramatic rise in businesses operating out of rural industrial units and farm buildings had contributed to the problem.

KCC is to overhaul its lorry-route map, signs and traffic regulation orders and work with satellite navigation firms.

The council said the work was expected to take between 12 and 18 months.

Councillor Nick Chard, cabinet member for environment, highways and waste, said: "Lorries can cause tremendous problems for residents and businesses when they use the wrong road and get stuck.

"They also rumble through our small villages day in, day out, in some cases causing damage to property."

Port traffic

He said businesses had to use Kent's roads as part of their normal operations, but the council currently did not have a "full picture" of the best routes for them.

He added: "What we want to do is put lorries on the best available routes for them. We will look at where HGVs want and need to travel and map out routes that will minimise disruption to residents and other businesses."

He said Kent Highway Services was also in consultation with the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association.

The council said nearly 3.2m freight lorries passed through the ports of Dover and Ramsgate and the Channel Tunnel last year - an average of 8,700 a day.

It also said that lorry traffic was expected to grow significantly over the next couple of decades.

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