RESIDENTS in Clady have reacted positively to the prospect of a weight restriction on lorries travelling through the village.
First mooted as a problem almost five years ago, locals have become increasingly frustrated by HGV drivers using Clady as a shortcut between Donegal and the A5.
Back in 2014 a delegation of residents led by Sinn Féin’s Maolíosa McHugh met with Stormont’s Roads Committee to discuss concerns. Cllr McHugh explained at the time that the situation had deteriorated to the point where residents were being wakened late at night by lorry drivers asking them to move their cars, so the large vehicles could pass through Clady’s narrow Main Street.
This week though, party colleague Michaela Boyle MLA welcomed official confirmation from the Department of Infrastructure that a public consultation will commence in March on a proposal to impose an HGV weight restriction on vehicles travelling through the village.
“The consultation will focus on the introduction of a 7.5 tonne weight limit within the village, with an exception for vehicles that require access to deliver or collect goods from local residents and businesses,” a spokesperson for the Department said.
Commenting on the proposal, Clady resident Lynne Maxwell said, “That would be brilliant.
“The lorries come through even in the middle of the night, at maybe four in the morning.
“You can hear them – the house would be vibrating.
“I lost about three wing mirrors from cars. My mother lives next door and if I’m trying to get her in and out of the car, they would near stop and tell you to move. They’re cheeky.”
One of Ms Maxwell’s neighbours, Charlie Potts added, “They’re a disaster.
“I painted my house a couple of months ago. It had been all cracked by the vibrations of the lorries coming through.”
Another local man, Thomas Bogle said any restriction on the bigger lorries would be welcomed.
“They’re coming through from about two in the morning,” he said. “They couldn’t help but interrupt your sleeping pattern – from all hours.
“I definitely would like to see them stopped from coming through.”
Commenting on the news from the Department, Michaela Boyle MLA said the lorries pose major safety risks.
She said, “I, in conjunction with local party councillor Maolíosa McHugh, have been working on this issue for a long time now with members of Clady Cross Community Development Association.”
She continued, “Subsequently we brought former Minister Chris Hazzard MP down to witness this problem first hand who then announced his intention to commence consultation with residents in Clady regarding the HGV traffic issue in January 2017…
“Residents have put up with this for long enough.
“I am glad to see movement finally on this and I am encouraging all residents of Clady to respond to the pending consultation and help bring about this positive change for the village.”