Angry hauliers meet with council chiefs over planned six-month A1173 closure

Emergency services and other essential services such as buses and bin lorries will still be able to use the A1173 during a closure order, council chiefs say. But the closure order has angered local hauliers who say the proposed detour to Brocklesby Interchange will add tens of thousands of pounds to their fuel costs. The road to Immingham and the Stallingborough industrial park is due to be closed for six months for the installation of a new roundabout.

The closure of the main road is planned in order to pave the way for a large GBP42million industrial estate to be built off the A180. Council bosses have now pledged to examine alternatives to a full road closure due to begin at the end of the month. It came as one businessman warned the closure could lead to the demise of his recycling business, while others said they were anticipating costs to increase by as much as GBP50,000.

Representatives of haulage firms concerned about the six-month closure of the A1173 attended a meeting with council officials at Grimsby Town Hall

A number of representatives of the haulage industry in Immingham and Stallingborough met with the deputy leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, John Fenty and portfolio holder for highways, Councillor Stewart Swinburn. They agreed to have two weeks of traffic management for businesses and road users to get accustomed to the detour to Brocklesby. Paul Brewster, managing director for Estuary said: "Grimsby is about to get seriously gridlocked with all the closures.

We have the Littlecoates Road works, the A18 is due to have works near Laceby, the A1173 is closing and the Hobson Way (Humbergate) road is still not open. It is going to add between 30 to 40 minutes to a single journey for lorries."

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He warned the 3,000 tonnes-a-day of fertilizer from Immingham to Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk will add to the problems of congestion. Alan Broughton, director of HandTrans at Stallingborough said: "I want to see the justification for the road closure.

We are told there will be another look at alternatives to the closure. But the work is going ahead with the cabins being installed." He added: "We have been steamrollered into this and we all feel bitterly disappointed.

At our meeting with the council, the deputy leader apologised the consultation had not been wider and he admitted it had not included Healing and Stallingborough parish councils.

Angry hauliers meet with council chiefs over planned six-month A1173 closureThe A180 Stallingborough Interchange, west of Grimsby, with the stretch to be closed running left from the junction towards Kiln Lane Industrial Estate and Immingham

"But there will be no delay with the project. It is going to go ahead because the funding is in place. "If it had to be changed to accommodate us that would have meant a 16-week delay due to changes in the planning process.

On that basis the roundabout will be going ahead. We have asked for a postponement. But have been told 'No'."

He added: "If it is okay for the emergency services and bin lorries and buses to use why don't they see us delivering to the food chain as an essential service?" HandTrans development manager, Kieran Repton said: "It was suggested to us that we put our rates up to our customers to off-set the costs we will incur. But that is not feasible.

Haulage firms run on tight margins of two to five per cent of turnover. That cannot be sustained."

Angry hauliers meet with council chiefs over planned six-month A1173 closureCouncillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for Environment and Transport, left, and deputy leader of North East Lincolnshire Council John Fenty, before holding talks with haulage firms concerned about the closure of the A1173

Scania GB spokesman Gary Horner said: "We are estimating the loss of around 650 hours in staff time in the coming months." Adrian Rowlands, managing director of Envrio GY Ltd recycling said he was disappointed by the closure.

"There is no need to put in a roundabout because the plans already have an underpass going under the A1173, linking the two sides of the industrial park," he said. Stewart Swinburn, the council's portfolio holder for environment and transport, said emergency services, including Humberside Fire and Rescue Service on Kiln Lane, Stallingborough would continue to have access on the road, along with essential services including council bin lorries.

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