Wealden District Council is working to help an HGV operator find a more suitable location after refusing retrospective planning permission for it to continue operating from a site on Rickney Lane, Pevensey. The decision came following a campaign by Cycling UK, local cycle groups and local walkers who argued that the lorry movements posed a risk to those using National Cycle Route 2.
Cycling UK raised concerns first with East Sussex council and then with the Wealden District Council regarding the safety implications of regular HGV movements on the narrow country road after a cyclist was seriously injured in September 2015.
The collision involved a lorry travelling along the lane from Countyclean Environmental Services Limited’s Chilley Farm site. The firm had been operating out of the premises for several years without having first secured planning permission.
Their business accounted for 71 per cent of all motor traffic on Rickney Lane, of which 35 per cent was HGVs.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigns Officer said: “It was obvious to the Traffic Commissioner and East Sussex Highway Authority that Countyclean should never have been operating from such an unsuitable location which put walkers and cyclists at risk.”
Councillors unanimously agreed to refuse Countyclean’s retrospective planning application. Cycling UK welcomed the decision, but Dollimore said the organisation felt action should have been taken sooner.
“We should not have to wait until someone is seriously injured before action is taken, but at least we can take consolation that Wealden District councillors have made the right decision and significantly cut the risk on one of the UK’s flagship cycle routes.”