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  1. ITV Report

Protesters fed up of 'hundreds' of lorries driving through their village

Protesters are demanding an end to the 'hundreds' of lorries driving through their rural village.

Locals say plans to extend the opening hours of a nearby depot would have devastating consequences on their health and safety, as it would mean a sharp increase in the number of HGVs using the roads.

People living in Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire, say there are already 'hundreds' of lorries navigating the narrow streets as they make their way to the Poundstretcher depot. But if plans to extend the company's opening hours are approved, they fear the number of lorries would double.

20
The number of lorries that drove past in just 90 minutes

Today, protesters gathered at a mini-roundabout on the junction of Ratby Lane and Desford Road. They say lorries making the tight turn here often cause tailbacks and to demonstrate this, the protestors placed prams on the edges of the narrow pavement.

In the 90 minutes that ITV News Central spent filming the protest, more than 20 lorries drove by.

Protesters lined prams along the narrow pavements to highlight how close the HGVs pass. Credit: ITV News Central
Locals say lorries pass through Kirby Muxloe every two to three minutes on their way to the Poundstretcher depot. Credit: ITV News Central

Currently, lorries can only come and go between 6am and 7pm on weekdays and 8am and 3pm on Saturdays. Council rules mean there are no lorry movements on Sundays and bank holidays.

But Poundstretcher wants to extend its opening hours to allow lorries to come and go until 11pm on weekdays and bank holidays, and to 6pm on Saturdays. It also wants lorries to run from 9am to 1pm on Sundays. The company says it would mean fewer HGVs parked up on neighbouring roads overnight.

Kirsteen Thomson, the Green Party councillor for Muxloe, says that while she supports new jobs in the area, people need to look at the wider implications.

"People are fed up of not being able to use this area. This is a village, a village where people walk, cycle and we've got a livery here," she said. "It is a good thing to create more jobs, of course it's a good thing, but at what expense? What long term expense to people's health, their mental health, their physical health and even their lives."

People are fed up of not being able to use this area.

– Cllr Kirsteen Thomson
Dozens of prams were placed along the narrow pavement to show how closely the lorries pass by. Credit: ITV News Central

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have since delayed the application meeting to allow 'further consideration of the issues raised by local councillors and members of the public'.

Landmark Planning Ltd, speaking on behalf of Poundstretcher, said: "We are discussing the issue with the Borough Council and are reviewing the objections, but lorry routes, which is the principle issue for residents, is the responsibility of the County Council."

When ITV News Central contacted Leicestershire County Council, they said the changes to the opening times would not have an impact on the roads.

From a highways perspective, we don’t consider there are implications.

– Leicestershire County Council

A spokesperson said: "From a highways perspective, we don’t consider there are implications, given the routes to be used are designated HGV routes, the extended hours of operation are outside peak traffic times and will not create capacity issues on the road network.

"Our views as a consultee have already been sent to the borough council, whose planning committee doesn't have to agree with them in determining the planning application. To be absolutely clear, this is a matter for Hinckley and Bosworth to decide, no doubt taking into account the legitimate concerns of residents.”