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Weighty problem for bank.

Byline: Julie Martin

Experts are examining a popular tourist route as a result of problems caused by heavy lorries.

Throughout the year, Sutton Bank, on the A170 near Thirsk, is used by visitors as well as being a key link for the North York Moors and E2ast coast.

But its 1 in 4 gradient presents a problem for many types of vehicles and their loads - a situation which is aggravated by a hairpin bend.

Police figures show that on average there is an incident every other day involving obstructions by goods vehicles.

Due to the limited width of the road and the length of the steep gradient, most breakdowns require the road to be closed until the obstruction is removed, causing major delays to traffic.

Now North Yorkshire County Council has established the Sutton Bank Freight Quality Partnership along with the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and North Yorkshire Police to find the best way of cutting incidents.

Tests were carried out this month while the bank was closed for routine maintenance, recreating HGV runs using different loads and with different surface conditions.

The results of the exercise, carried out by Faber Maunsel Consulting Engineers on behalf of the partnership, will be fed into a study aimed at tackling the problem.

Councillor Peter Sowray, the county council's executive member for environmental services said: "Incidents involving HGVs on Sutton Bank include breakdown, insecure loads and diesel spills.

"The results of the surveys should help identify the issues that contribute to breakdowns and help us assess potential measures including more effective signing to inform drivers of the potential difficulties and how best to negotiate the bank."
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Family Life
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 28, 2004
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