Raunds residents' appeal over sat nav problems with Warth Park lorries

Repeated calls have been made for action to stop drivers using Meadow Lane to turn round in when they miss the industrial estate

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 1:19 pm
Lorries heading for Warth Park are using Meadow Lane to turn round, but the road is not suitable for HGVs

Action has been promised 'as a matter of urgency' to stop lorries getting stuck when their sat nav sends them past the industrial estate they are heading for.

Raunds' Warth Park is home to some big names including Muller, Howdens, Indesit and Whirlpool.

But with big names come big lorries, many of which miss the turning for the industrial estate and continue along London Road before realising they need to turn round.

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Warth Park in Raunds

However, the first turning they come to is Meadow Lane, a narrow road which is not designed for large lorries heading for Warth Park.

The issue with drivers using this road to turn round and often then getting stuck isn't a new one, and is regularly raised on social media by frustrated residents.

Just this week, residents went online again to call for action to stop the problem which many believe is caused by sat navs sending drivers the wrong way.

One online commenter said: "Put a sign up. Not suitable for HGV. Not difficult."

Another said: "How they can drive past the roundabout which is signposted is beyond me."

Residents say the problem has been ongoing for years and is an almost daily occurrence.

Another resident is worried about the lack of action, posting online: "Unless someone is proactive to resolve this there inevitably will be a serious accident with a truck backing blind into London Road."

Online suggestions include better signage for the industrial estate, 'Unsuitable for HGVs' signs going up in Meadow Lane and sat nav systems being updated or businesses changing the postcodes given out for deliveries.

Raunds councillor Lee Wilkes, who represents the town's Saxon ward and is the town's deputy mayor, has also joined the online debate, saying: "I know I keep repeating myself, but the town council can’t do anything other than keep chasing Highways.

"Meadow Lane is a private road, the council can’t block it off, or put a locked gate up.

"Only the landowners can do that.

"Neither can the town council put a road sign up.

"We lobbied to get the Warth Park lorry signs up, and luckily they work for 99.9 per cent of drivers."

A spokesman for Raunds Town Council told the Northants Telegraph: “Raunds Town Council have lobbied Highways on a number of occasions and are now pleased to report that following conversations with Cllr Jason Smithers, NCC Cabinet member for highways, environment and place, NCC and Raunds Town Council are working together to improve the signage at Meadow Lane as a matter of urgency.

"We are also continuing to work with businesses at Warth Park to ensure that their suppliers are given the correct address and delivery information."

The town council is also due to consider the issues around HGVs attempting to access Meadow Lane at its meeting of the environment leisure and recreation committee tonight (Thursday).

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