Wedged lorries are wreaking havoc in a sleepy village after highway bosses diverted them in traffic experiment
A SLEEPY village is getting jammed up to 18 times a week with heavy lorries after highways bosses diverted them through it in a hated traffic experiment.
Fed-up locals are fuming about the strategy which has brought havoc to quaint Melbury Abbas in Dorset with the daily sight of a 30-tonne HGV blocking the narrow high street.
Cars heading through the pretty hamlet face delays of up to an hour whenever a hapless trucker gets stuck negotiating oncoming traffic and tight bends.
Kerbs, grass verges and a water hydrant have been damaged by lorries swerving off the road, while one HGV came within just 2ins of smashing into a Grade II listed home.
Locals have amassed a shocking gallery of photos and videos of HGVs clogging up the road, with one clip showing an articulated lorry suffering thousands of pounds of damage after a passing truck sheared through its rear trailer.
The space left for oncoming traffic using the 16ft wide road is so narrow that even a Smart car struggles to squeeze through.
The traffic problems have arisen after Dorset County Council put up signs directing southbound HGVs to use the C13 road in Melbury Abbas instead of the main A350 which runs parallel to it.
The idea was to create an unofficial one-way system for HGVs in the area, with northbound lorries using the A road.
But villagers say the change has created chaos and are urging the local authority to ditch the experiment, which is part of a £2.5m strategy to improve the A350.
William Keleany, chairman of Melbury Abbas and Cann Parish Council, said: “The road is physically too small for so many lorries of such great size to pass through.
“The structure of the road and the nature of traffic passing through it at the moment means jams are continually occurring.
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“There were 18 last week lasting from 30 minutes to over an hour, it’s just not practical and people in the village have quite frankly had enough.”
Villager Derek Coombes said: “Every single day there will be one or two hold ups at least.
“One lorry coming down the hill towards my house lost control and took out 100ft of my hedge.”
Roy Faulkner, another local, said: “I live at one of the pinch points and my drive gets blocked everyday by lorries or cars that become stuck.
“My water mains have been broken three times and I had to put a wall up to protect them, but that got smashed.”
A spokesman for Dorset County Council said the attempted one way system is part of a £2.5m project to improve both the C13 and A350.
He said: “We are continuing to work with communities and road users to develop options to ease the problems on these routes.
“There is further public consultation planned in mid-May, in which we will involve the parish councils and local residents.
“For now we are keeping the existing traffic signals.”