Country lanes closed to lorries

Lorries are to be banned from large parts of Gloucestershire's rural road network after satellite navigation units caused chaos on country lanes.

Vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes will be excluded from 150 square miles of countryside around Stroud, Gloucester and Cirencester.

Gloucestershire County Council is beginning the pilot scheme after a number of lorries were diverted down winding roads which are too tight for trucks.

Last year, a foreign driver spent four days in neighbouring Somerset after his 44-tonne lorry became wedged on a country lane.

Councillor Stan Waddington told the Gloucestershire Echo: "We appreciate the important contribution the lorries make to the livelihood of farms, shops and other rural businesses, but we have a duty to try to protect parts of Gloucestershire that have increasingly suffered from traffic congestion."

Lorries which are just passing through the zone and not making deliveries will have to take designated routes so they cannot blindly follow their sat nav devices.

If the plan, which begins in the new year, is successful it could be extended to the whole of county.

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