War Memorial Gary Trouton

A letter to the Editor from Hilman Durrance

May 2005

Hilman objects to the Stoke Ferru Resident's Association Minutes

2 April 2005

Dear Mr Thompson

I refer to the Minutes of the Stoke Ferry Residents' Association committee meeting of 23 February 2005 as published in the April 2005 edition of The Village Pump.

In these, I find that you have published an untrue allegation from an unnamed source that my haulage vehicle was thought to be exceeding the bridge weight limit when entering the village. In future before items of this nature are published it would perhaps be as well if someone made sure of their facts as I am advised that I have been libelled.

I have operated my small haulage business from my site off Oxborough Road in Stoke Ferry since 1972 and throughout this time have endeavoured to use Bridge Road, whenever allowable, to enter and leave the village in order to minimise inconvenience to as much of the village as possible. To the best of my knowledge throughout this time I have never had a legitimate complaint made against me.

The sign next to the bridge does not indicate that large vehicles (and my vehicle in the context of most lorries is not particularly large) may not use the bridge. The sign says 18 tonnes maximum gross weight; my lorry weighs 11 tonnes. I leave Stoke Ferry in the morning and return normally late afternoon, at which points in the day I am either at the start or end of my day's work and my vehicle is more often that not empty. On the occasions when the lorry is loaded overnight, I never use Bridge Road. Provide me with an accurate date and time when the incident is alleged to have taken place and frQm the records I have to keep to comply with UKASTA grain trade regulations I can prove the weight of my lorry at that time.

As I am writing, perhaps The Village Pump may care to take up the issue of why there remains a weight limit on the bridge. Not too many years ago, people wishing to travel from Stoke Ferry centre in the Whittington direction suffered a very great many weeks, indeed months, of traffic-light delays or diversions whilst Stoke Ferry bridge was strengthened to meet modem traffic conditions. I was advised at the time by a then Parish Councillor that once the work was completed the bridge was intended to be opened for a free flow of all traffic. I would be very interested to know why, after all the public money that must have been spent, the bridge is still considered weak. Was the job not done properly?

Finally, one last point to consider - if my lorry cannot get through the High Street muddle caused by indiscriminate parking then neither will a fire engine be able to! Let's hope this never happens.

Yours sincerely

Hilman Durrance

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