Ludlow and Clee councillors are calling for restrictions to prevent HGVs and diverted traffic using Squirrel Lane. The lane is a narrow country road that runs south from the A4117 Ludlow to Kidderminster road to Sheet Village. It runs parallel to the A49 Ludlow bypass and is often used for formal and informal diversions when there are problems or roadworks on the bypass.
Councillors and residents are now saying enough is enough. The fabric of the road and its once wildflower verges are being destroyed by excessive traffic. The road has been blocked by HGVs and the historic Ledwyche Bridge damaged. Signs saying that the road is unsuitable for HGVs need to be put in place urgently.
It happened again this morning. An HGV travelling from Kidderminster to a business on the Foldgate Lane retail park followed instructions from the satnav in the cab. The vehicle turned left from the A4117 before Henley Hall and braked to halt just before Ledwyche Bridge, a Grade II listed bridge. Fortunately, the driver realised that the bridge was far too narrow and came to a halt. He then found it impossible to reverse and became stuck on the verge. A tow truck was summoned to extricate the vehicle so that it could go back the way it came.
Richard Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Clee, said:
“We have had this time and time again. HGVs and other vehicles misdirected by satnav are sent along a minor road which is narrowed to a single lane at some points. The lane has become battered and bashed. It has only been four years since Ledwyche Bridge was damaged. The costly repairs to the Grade II listed bridge were at council tax payer’s expense.
“We have also had problems during roadworks when the official diversion between Rocks Green and Sheet has used Squirrel Lane.
“This narrow country lane is not the least bit suitable for diverted or lost vehicles.”
Vivienne Parry, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East, said:
“Squirrel Lane has been trashed for years. First it was the construction of the solar farm. Then there were emergency road works at Rocks Green. There are reports of cement mixers using the lane to get to the construction sites Sheet Road and Rocks Green.
“The verges used to be wildlife havens. Now they have been trashed as vehicles try to squeeze down a narrow lane they should not be on.
“Squirrel Lane should be a quiet country lane where residents can stroll, walk their dogs and admire the verges, hedgerows and wildlife.”