Quarry lorries causing “traffic misery” are an “accident waiting to happen”, villagers in Tickenham in North Somerset have claimed.
Campaigners have called for a proper assessment of the impact of a planned 12-month extension of the limestone extraction operation at Durnford Quarry in nearby Long Ashton to the end of 2023.
They say the roads are too narrow and long stretches do not have pavements - but national highways chiefs say the extra HGV trips would have a limited impact.
Permission to extract limestone is due to cease by the end of 2022, a decade before the deadline for restoring the quarry.
Tarmac Trading Ltd asked for North Somerset Council’s input before it submits a full application, giving residents the chance to have their voices heard.
Tickenham Parish Council said the effects of the quarry operation and restoration scheme needed to be assessed.
It said the lorries were causing “traffic misery” on roads and pavements that are too narrow, and a 12-month extension was “unacceptable”.
The quarry has been used for hundreds of years. It currently supplies 300,000 tonnes of limestone per year and imports 500,000 tonnes of waste material to recycle into aggregates and to restore the quarry void.
Some 390 HGVs drive to and from the site each day, only 60 per cent of the approved level.
The extension would result in 16 to 24 more HGV movements each day.
According to National Highways, there would be a limited impact on the safe and efficient operation of the strategic road network.
‘Causing concern within the community’
The Tickenham Road Action Group said: “The current level of trucks passing through Tickenham village is causing incredible levels of frustration, angst, anxiety, concern within the community.
“These are all resulting from worries regarding pollution, safety, excessive noise and disruption.
“The B3130 within the village settlement drops to a width of under six metres and at points has no pavement. It is a major disaster waiting to happen.”
North Somerset Council said the proposal was likely to have significant effects on the environment and the impact of the additional HGV movements would need to be assessed.
The next step for Tarmac Trading Ltd will be to draw up a planning application with an environmental impact assessment.
Credit: Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporting Service