The director of The Bank Arts Centre in Eye has criticised the council’s decision to lift HGV restrictions, warning children could be at risk.

Jon Betts, the director of the community hub based in a Grade II listed building on Castle Street, said traffic has got worse since the order was revoked.

Suffolk County Council announced the restriction would be lifted because of negative feedback from surrounding villages.

East Anglian Daily Times:

East Anglian Daily Times:

Mr Betts said: “I find it staggering they think it is okay to allow a constant stream of heavy vehicles to pass within 100cm of our entrance. The heavy traffic often mounts the curb in front of our doorway travelling in both directions.

“Children literally step out and are just two short steps from the wheels of a lorry. 

“A large percentage of these lorries taking this route before and some during the ETRO are over 15 tonnes which I understand is contrary to the weight restrictions.”

The charity runs digital training for 1,000 children a year but is located on one of the worst pinch points in Eye.

East Anglian Daily Times:

East Anglian Daily Times:

The director, like many in the town, is unhappy at how Suffolk County Council made the decision to revoke the ETRO.

He said: “The reason the ETRO was the best way forward was because it moved a percentage of the Eye traffic (not all) onto roads with less severe pinch points. 

“If you drive the routes concerned and measure the road and pavement widths you will see that the ETRO was the better option. And of course, the ETRO didn't move all the traffic out of Eye.

“We still had a very significant amount of legitimate local heavy traffic from farms. So the ETRO wasn’t a total shift of the problem out of Eye. It was a sharing of the problem.”

The restriction had been supporting the official Suffolk County Council Lorry Route, with Eye designated for local deliveries.

Asked what the solution to the problem would be, Mr Betts said: “One part solution would be a major shake up with planning and literally stop building the wrong businesses in the wrong places.

“Another would be much better 15 tonne limit signage along the Eye route and, very importantly, regular enforcement and a suitable post to stop the traffic mounting the curb on our doorstep.”

Suffolk County Council said they would work with Eye Town Council to find alternative solutions to traffic concerns.

Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for economic development, skills, transport strategy and waste, said: "Unfortunately, restricting HGV access in Eye has only moved the problem to other communities, which is not acceptable.

“I understand that this is an important and upsetting issue for many people in Eye, but solving this type of problem in a rural county with few good quality routes is far from easy.

"We will continue to look at ways to mitigate the heavy traffic in Eye, including engineering measures and potentially different types of traffic restrictions.”