What do you do when heavy goods vehicles keep getting stuck on a narrow and unsuitable road, causing damage to property and endangering local residents?
When it’s got so bad that delays are happening every day while the local church can no longer get insurance for its boundary bank that has been crashed into so often?
That's the daily problem faced by the community of Melbury Abbas in Dorset.
Well, most councils would look after local residents and do something to deter lorries from using the road. They would talk to sat-nav companies, road hauliers and improve signage to keep lorries away from the problem. If necessary, they could introduce a traffic regulation order to restrict access. But not, apparently, if you are Dorset County Council. No, they actually sign lorries down this road and so far have refused to acknowledge any responsibility for their actions.
This has been going on now for over a year with little movement by the county council. Even when the story hit national headlines last month, most councils or politicians would have been embarrassed by the ridiculous situation they had created and taken action to resolve the issue. Not Dorset County Council though. Instead, its brass neck knowing no limits, it suddenly installed two large temporary traffic signs advising lorries even more visibly to use this route. This is on top of the fixed signage it has previously installed as part of its failed and ludicrous traffic experiment. Nothing to date has managed to shake it out of its complacency. Even local lorry drivers think it’s a crazy situation.
The problem however, hasn’t gone away and locals are determined to press for a permanent solution. They have set up a petition on Change.org calling on the Department of Transport to step in and save their 1,000 year old village and sort out the lorry situation once and for all. They have lost faith in their local Council to look after their best interests.
Given that Melbury Abbas is only a small village, local people are asking others to support them in their struggle. You can help by signing the petition and sharing it on social media or by email. Help them get their village and their lives back. There are viable alternative routes and it’s about time the council took action to implement them.