Kegworth bypass opening reduces lorries in village

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image captionKegworth was seeing about 1,200 HGVs pass through the village per day

Villagers have welcomed the opening of a new bypass which has slashed the number of lorries passing through.

Up to 1,200 HGVs - one "every minute" in a ten-hour day - had been rumbling through Kegworth, Leicestershire, the local parish council claimed.

But, on its first day in operation, the bypass had slashed the number to 200, they said.

However, one shop owner expressed fears the new road could impact on passing trade.

'Big boys found it'

Parish council chairman David Hignett said the opening of the bypass was a "good day".

"We were getting heavy goods vehicles through here, on average one a minute in each direction, 1,200 in a 10-hour day," he said.

"It's down to a sixth of that after one day, so the big boys are finding the bypass."

image captionThe Kegworth bypass connects to a new "inland port" near East Midlands Airport

Mr Hignett added that he wanted to reclaim the village for people and plans are afoot for redevelopment.

Some residents said the new road has "done wonders for the traffic and the village now seems quieter".

However, Scott Johnson, owner of Soar Tackle, said: "Moving heavy traffic out of Kegworth is better because we could do without the lorries.

"But we don't want to be missing trade from others passing through."

image captionA bridge was put in place for the new Kegworth bypass, in May

The new road was built to connect to the East Midlands Gateway, a massive rail freight hub and warehouse complex - a 700-acre (283-hectare) "inland port" approved in 2016.

It includes a rail freight terminal and will create about 7,000 jobs, it is claimed.

In May, part of the M1 closed while a bridge for the bypass was installed over the motorway.

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