Calls grow for heavy lorries ban in Mitcham town centre

Wimbledon Guardian: HGV navigates narrow corner at Cricket Green HGV navigates narrow corner at Cricket Green

Worried residents are calling for heavy lorries to clear off narrow lanes where they endanger schoolchildren, pedestrians, cyclists and other road-users.

Neighbours said heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) turning right out of SITA’s Benedict Wharf site in Benedict Lane, Mitcham, hurtle down a narrow stretch of Church Road towards Cricket Green.

While SITA has instructed its own 11 vehicles not to use Lower Church Road, the fleet accounts for only a quarter of 500 lorry movements in and out of the site every day, Mitcham Cricket Green Community Heritage claims.

Lobbyists are urging SITA to redraw its contract with haulage firm Maritime to ensure people are protected from all HGVs.

The demand put forward at a liaison meeting on Tuesday evening follows a ‘LorryWatch’ event attended by residents, campaigners and SITA managers on September 13.

Sandra Vogel, trustee of Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage, who organised the event, said: "During less than two hours we saw several incidents.

"Two lorries crashed, one losing a wing mirror in the process, because the road is too narrow for them to pass comfortably.

"In another incident a lorry mounted the very narrow pavement outside the old vicarage. It had to do this in order to pass another vehicle.

"The pavement here is not wide enough for an adult and child to walk along safely side by side, let alone for them to meet someone coming in the opposite direction. In another incident a cyclist was forced onto the pavement."

A SITA spokesperson said: "Church Road is classified as a London Distributor Road and as such is intended as a main route for buses and goods vehicles. However, we recognise residents' concerns about lorries using this stretch of Church Road and have taken steps to address this by re-routing our own SITA UK vehicles wherever possible, and by reminding hauliers using the site to drive carefully on local roads and respect the speed limit."

SITA employs a member of staff once a week during school drop-off and pick-up hours to look out for lorries speeding or mounting kerbs on Church Road and report back to the site manager.

Michael Garfield, SITA UK regional manager, said he would fully consider proposals for redrawing a contract and report back at the next meeting.

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Comments (3)

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12:30pm Sat 15 Feb 14

House of Tudor says...

I was pleased to read your article regarding the overly large lorries in Mitcham and particularly down Church Road into Hallowfield Way using the Sita refuse site. Congratulations to Sandra Vogel and her team on the Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage for their tireless campaign
I thought that your reporter would be interested to know that when Mayor Boris Johnson visited the Sita site last year he was standing on the corner of Hallowfield Way and Church Road talking with my neighbours when one of these large lorries hurtled around the corner and mounted the pavement causing Boris to use a loud expletive as he and my neighbours had to leap back. He still went against Merton Council and passed plans for the Sita site to be redeveloped and enlarged.

Local residents have been battling silently up until now with no newspaper coverage about the polluted air from the piles of waste which Sita have declared is NOT from food waste. So where is the smell coming from? Odourizers are having to be deployed four times a day ( says a Sita spokesman) to eradicate or cover these smells
Those that live the closest in Whitebridge Ave have the daily noise from the reversing bleeps which can start as early as 6.15am, and the smell which at times makes you want to retch and cannot open windows in the summer. Work can also take place on Sunday morning.
Walking to and from Belgrave Walk tram stop can be an unpleasant experience.
This is a RESIDENTIAL AREA and I do not think that if a Sita site was situated near Wimbledon Village their behaviour would be tolerated for five minutes.
But as usual we in Mitcham are the 'poor relations' of Merton and just have to put up with this. But not I hope without a fight !
We laugh now that centuries ago chamber pots were emptied out of upper windows into the street and yet piles of rotting refuse in open ended sheds within 50 yards of residential property and a school is deemed by Merton Council, and the Mayor Boris Johnson as acceptable.
Thank you for your coverage in your paper - we need more.
Nicholas Tudor - resident in Mitcham for over 26 years
I was pleased to read your article regarding the overly large lorries in Mitcham and particularly down Church Road into Hallowfield Way using the Sita refuse site. Congratulations to Sandra Vogel and her team on the Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage for their tireless campaign I thought that your reporter would be interested to know that when Mayor Boris Johnson visited the Sita site last year he was standing on the corner of Hallowfield Way and Church Road talking with my neighbours when one of these large lorries hurtled around the corner and mounted the pavement causing Boris to use a loud expletive as he and my neighbours had to leap back. He still went against Merton Council and passed plans for the Sita site to be redeveloped and enlarged. Local residents have been battling silently up until now with no newspaper coverage about the polluted air from the piles of waste which Sita have declared is NOT from food waste. So where is the smell coming from? Odourizers are having to be deployed four times a day ( says a Sita spokesman) to eradicate or cover these smells Those that live the closest in Whitebridge Ave have the daily noise from the reversing bleeps which can start as early as 6.15am, and the smell which at times makes you want to retch and cannot open windows in the summer. Work can also take place on Sunday morning. Walking to and from Belgrave Walk tram stop can be an unpleasant experience. This is a RESIDENTIAL AREA and I do not think that if a Sita site was situated near Wimbledon Village their behaviour would be tolerated for five minutes. But as usual we in Mitcham are the 'poor relations' of Merton and just have to put up with this. But not I hope without a fight ! We laugh now that centuries ago chamber pots were emptied out of upper windows into the street and yet piles of rotting refuse in open ended sheds within 50 yards of residential property and a school is deemed by Merton Council, and the Mayor Boris Johnson as acceptable. Thank you for your coverage in your paper - we need more. Nicholas Tudor - resident in Mitcham for over 26 years House of Tudor

12:39pm Mon 17 Feb 14

tjames says...

it should have been closed not expanded
it should have been closed not expanded tjames

12:20pm Tue 18 Feb 14

House of Tudor says...

Perhaps Louisa Clarence - Smith would be willing to have a meeting with local Mitcham residents to hear our feelings regarding the Sita site ?
Perhaps Louisa Clarence - Smith would be willing to have a meeting with local Mitcham residents to hear our feelings regarding the Sita site ? House of Tudor

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