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Sean Holden calls for ban on lorries in parts of Kent

By Caitlin Webb, local democracy reporter

A councillor used a public meeting to blast lorry drivers across the county for “ruining the lives of people in Kent”.

Cllr Seán Holden, the member for Cranbrook at Kent County Council, said one lorry causes more damage than 10,000 cars driving through his village.

He claimed drivers knock down hedges with wing mirrors and cause potholes - and called for the council to follow the actions of other local authorities which have banned lorries from some areas.

Councillor Holden is calling for lorries to be banned from parts of Kent. Picture: Gary Browne
Councillor Holden is calling for lorries to be banned from parts of Kent. Picture: Gary Browne

He also suggested that if a ban were enforced, there would be statues across the county of the councils' cabinet member for highways and transport Cllr Mike Whiting.

He told the environment and transport cabinet committee meeting it is "time for lorries to get out of lives in Kent".

He said: “It’s time that the economics of haulier business stops trumping the quality of lives of our people.

“One 40-tonne lorry causes the same damage as 10,000 cars.

“When you see a lorry going down the roads, like I do, between Cranbrook and Benenden knocking down the hedges on both sides with its wing mirrors, that’s doing the equivalent to, if you have half a dozen of those down there over a day, around a year’s worth of cars.

“Those roads are not built for that. The potholes, that are the bane of the lives of everybody, costs us millions of pounds.

“This is a direct consequence of heavy vehicles using those roads. I want to see a strategy come into place because people’s lives are being ruined.”

Lorries cause 'as much damage as 10,000 cars' in Mr Holden's village, he claims
Lorries cause 'as much damage as 10,000 cars' in Mr Holden's village, he claims

Cllr Holden suggested that the council follows Leicestershire County Council’s policy and restrict access to lorries on roads in Kent.

He said: “87% of the lorries that come into this county are not coming to Kent. They are going straight through.

“They are causing damage but most important - they are ruining the lives of people.

“It’s a consistent harm on people’s lives such as the pollution of air, pollution of noise and the severance of communities. For example, Sissinghurst the village is basically divided in half by a major road.

“Get lorries out of lives in Kent. People will thank us for it until the end of time. If Mr Whiting could put it about I bet there would be statues of him.”

Residents worried about the impact of lorries in their area can join the volunteer service Lorry Watch who report on inappropriate driving to Kent Police.

Lorry drivers are recommended to plan their routes through the council's online Freight Gateway, available at [http://freightgateway.co.uk/kent/].

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