Neighbours’ fears over builders’ lorry deliveries in Harpenden

Lorries for Jewson causing traffic problems in Southdown

Lorries for Jewson causing traffic problems in Southdown - Credit: Archant

Massive lorries taking deliveries to a builders’ merchants in a residential road cause chaos and pose a risk to other road users according to a concerned neighbour.

He maintains that lorries taking deliveries to Jewson in Grove Road, Southdown, Harpenden, clog up the road, causing cars to wait “ages and ages” for two or three lorries which have to queue because they can’t fit into the yard.

The retired university lecturer, who lives in Paddock Wood, contacted the Herts Advertiser because he believes it is dangerous and inconvenient.

He said: “You can see people waiting to get by these lorries - parents queuing for ages and ages. It’s very inconvenient. They are always blocking the road.

“Sometimes there are three large lorries stationary, trying to get in. They turn up to deliver supplies but can’t get in to the yard, as they have to wait for other large lorries to leave.

“They are carrying heavy loads and it’s a residential area they’re clogging up. It’s quite near the shops and a school. There are a lot of children walking to school and the school run is often held up. You can hear everyone grumbling, it’s not only me.”

He went on: “It’s dangerous because traffic has to move to the other side of the road to get past and they go up on to the pavement, which is illegal and unsafe. Often there is more than one lorry to get by at once, so it’s a very badly congested situation.

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“And it gets worse – when they do finally get in and drop off their loads, they have to get out. But they can’t turn round in the yard as it’s too small, so you have these great big lorries reversing out into a narrow road, with parked cars on both sides. They have to back out, doing several wriggles around and everyone is held up then too. It’s a real nuisance. They have lots of visitors.”

To remedy the problem, he suggests the large tree on the pavement outside the gate into Jewson yard is removed - or part of the building is taken down - to make more parking and turning space for the delivery vehicles in the yard.

The former music professor, who said it was not just Jewson lorries causing problems but also other companies’ lorries supplying the builders’ merchants, added: “Jewson is in the wrong place basically. It started in a small way and lorries were smaller. Over 10 years, we’ve watched the lorries grow bigger, because it’s cheaper to send one massive lorry than several smaller ones.

“But they were designed for main roads and big industrial estates not for the suburban area of Harpenden. It becomes increasingly clear that Southdown is no place for a builders’ merchant.”

A spokesman for Herts county council ruled out removing the tree, saying: “The county council’s policy is that a tree on a public highway would be considered for removal if it was found to be diseased or dying. In this case, the tree is healthy and not obstructing the public highway.”

And in a statement, Jewson said: “Jewson has been a longstanding member of the Harpenden community, and the nature of its business means that a number of deliveries are received throughout the week. Branch management works with suppliers to schedule deliveries between 10am and 3pm, to avoid excess traffic during the school run.

“On occasion, circumstances outside the management’s control dictate that deliveries do sometimes arrive outside this timeframe. Jewson works to minimise the impact of these.”