Calls grow for heavy lorries ban in Mitcham town centre
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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