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PUBLIC MEETING: Uniting for lorry van action in Collier Street

Wednesday 2nd June 2021

A PUBLIC meeting calling into question Kent Police's effectiveness in dealing with illegal lorries in rural villages is being considered by a roads campaigner.

Sean Randell, frustrated at the lack of action in tackling truckers breaking the HGV ban in Collier Street, will join forces with other local community action groups to apply pressure on the force.

Kent Police recently admitted it issued no fixed penalty notices at all in 2020.

Among those Mr Randell will be liaising with will be nearby parishes including Leeds and Langley which has also suffered lorry drivers defying the weight restriction on the B2163. Surrounding parishes there will be targeted too.

He hopes he will be able to organise an open-air public meeting when COVID-19 restrictions allow.

Mr Randell said: "My experience of Kent Police and action to oversize and speeding vehicles using B and unclassified roads is not a good one. I really do not know what has to happen for them to act.

"What will make them actually do something? The roads around the Low Weald and generally any roads that are not a trunk or A road are not geared up for the sort of traffic they are now taking. I have spoken to a number of parishes we need to unite to get Kent Police and Kent County Council to act and quickly."

Mr Randell added: "So, once we know where we stand regarding the pandemic restrictions, we'll be inviting all the local areas affected by this issue to contribute to a much wider debate.

“Perhaps there are similar problems in other areas in Kent, not just Maidstone.

"Clearly, Kent Police have shown they are not interested in enforcing the law, so we have to raise the issue as loudly as we can until something is done. Presently, I am hearing words but I am not seeing much action.”

On May 13, Kent Police set up a lorry checkpoint near Leeds Castle on the B2163.

County councillor Gary Cooke said: “They haven’t been near here for about a year. Lorry drivers do what they like but it’s a start, I guess. They need to make it regular to deter them.”

A Kent Police spokesman said: “I would urge residents who witness speeding vehicles or lorries committing offences to take down the details and report it to Kent Police.

“This information can be invaluable in assisting us to plan the effective deployment of our resources.”