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Town council frustrated as Hungerford High Street traffic chaos remains apparently insoluble

EVERY plausible option for preventing lorries striking a Hungerford High Street pub has been explored…and discarded.

That was the reluctant conclusion of town councillors who have been wrestling with the problem for many months.

In November 2022 the Newbury Weekly News first reported warnings from Fluey Hall, licensee of The Plume, that someone could be seriously injured or killed.

Articulated lorries turning into Park Street repeatedly strike the building, sending shockwaves through it to the building next door and knocking off masonry.

Mr Hall said at the time: "It happens on an almost daily basis and the scary thing is, although they grind out part of the wall, they don't even know they're doing it.

"Sooner or later a pedestrian is going to get caught between the lorry and the wall."

Town councillor Jerry Keates said earlier this year: “That building will be knocked down or further degraded – or someone will be squashed.”

Hungerford Town Council’s highways and transport committee raised the matter with West Berkshire Council, suggesting a bollard might be the answer.

But that potential solution was deemed impractical.

The district council responded: “There is no guarantee that bollard(s) would actually protect the building and would themselves be subject to being hit by vehicles and becoming an ongoing maintenance problem for the council.”

A weight limit was likewise ruled out because of the adverse effect on local businesses.

At a meeting of the committee on Monday night, town mayor Helen Simpson said she remained concerned that a pedestrian could be injured but added: “A weight limit would impact local businesses, we’re told.

“We’ve looked at every single option.

“The only answer would be to move Saxon (Industries) so there’s just no easy answer.”

Given the inability of the highways authority, West Berkshire Council, to agree a workable solution, the committee reluctantly agreed to take no further action on the issue.

Mrs Simpson said: “Hungerford is an old, historic market town and it really can’t cater for HGVs - but we’re stuck with it, it seems.”

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