Lorry Route Plan review in Suffolk

The technical and community led review of lorry routes that considers changes to the highway network since the plan was updated in 2011.

The technical and community led review of lorry routes that considers changes to the highway network since the plan was updated in 2011. This includes:

  • new strategic roads
  • new Lorry Watch areas
  • Air Quality Management Areas in Suffolk

Councillor Richard Smith MVO, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Transport Strategy and Waste responsible for the ongoing review of the county’s Lorry Route Plan.

The review will involve two parts and will update and validate the County Council’s existing lorry route network plan.

Technical review

The technical review is currently taking place. It'll look at a range of evidence including:

  • Collision records and traffic data
  • Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) for weight, width and height restrictions
  • The resilient road network and its strategic road network diversions as well as GPS data – showing the origin and destination of trips, routes taken and the locations of building strikes
  • Public complaints
  • Data from Lorry Watch schemes

Look and explore the draft version of the Lorry Route Network map.

Community led review

The community led review will run from 22 October 2021 to 17 December 2021.

Suffolk County Council is seeking the views of Parish and Town Councils about their local issues and intelligence.

Information will be gathered by a survey sent to all of Suffolk’s Parish and Town Councils and their County Councillor will then be asked to endorse the key issues for their area. Each local council will be limited to three issues within their community to ensure fair and equal representation across the county.


Share your views

Members of the public and businesses who wish to provide feedback on HGV movements across Suffolk, need to contact their parish or town council. They'll will collate and submit your responses.


Timescales

The review will be completed in Spring 2022 where the County Council plan to publish a new interactive Lorry Route map.


Frequently Asked Questions

The last review was completed in 2011 (with a minor review completed in 2017). Since then:

  • New roads have been built
  • There have been significant new housing and retail/business developments in the county
  • Air quality issues have arisen or worsened leading to Air Quality Management Areas
  • Environmental constraints may have been added or changed
  • Accidents records have changed and and building/structure strikes are now recorded
  • We've received community feedback on the current network

The review will look at the current approved county lorry network and take into account changes since the last review. Whilst in many cases approved routes may not be able to be changed (due to the lack of suitable alternatives) there may be some physical changes possible to address some of the current issues.

Lorries and HGVs are an important factor in the economy of the county. They support rural businesses and jobs as well as hubs such as the Port of Felixstowe and A14 corridor based businesses. By having a lorry route network the County Council aims to facilitate this business.

The technical review is underway and a substantial amount of evidence has already been analysed. The community led review will run from 22 October 2021 to 17 December 2021.

The County Council has been busy analysing the technical information to understand issues affecting the lorry route network.

The technical review has been more challenging than anticipated given the pattern of traffic has changed considerably through COVID-19.

It has been necessary to allow time for traffic patterns to stabilise. The community review forms an important part of the overall review and will inform its subsequent direction. It will help to assess the use of the network across the whole county.

It's unlikely that all concerns can be addressed through the review. However, we are planning to deliver a better mapping tool to view the current lorry route network, which will assist the community review.

View the Lorry Route Map.

No. There is no statutory duty to publish a recommended Lorry Network Map and having one does not prohibit HGVs from using other roads. Traffic Regulation Orders may be used to restrict the use of roads considered unsuitable for HGVs

The Lorry Watch scheme page gives further information on the current active lorry watch schemes. Lorry Watch schemes can only be used where there is a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in place giving a weight restriction.

You can do this using the Highways Reporting Tool by visiting Report an incident with a heavy goods vehicle.

Planning decisions are taken by the district and borough councils as the local planning authority.

Suffolk County Council as the Highway Authority is consulted and considers traffic movements and highway safety when assessing planning applications.

We can not apply wholesale restrictions on HGVs or other traffic from using the highway network unless there is a valid reason to do so. For example, a Traffic Regulation Order could be considered:

  • If a bridge were to be structurally unsound due to weight of vehicles using it
  • Or if there are specific environmental reasons to do so
  • and an alternative route is available for those vehicles

The displacement of traffic must also be considered to ensure that a localised problem is not just moved from one location to another or inadvertently creates a new problem. Any restrictions will always have some exemptions for example agricultural traffic and deliveries and access to businesses.

It should be noted that there is currently no budget to introduce any new TROs.

Depending on their complexity, TROs can cost a substantial amount to implement owing to legal, design and construction fees. In addition to the cost, a TRO must have the support of the local County Councillor, the Police and the public and business must be consulted.

If any member of the public objects to the implementation of a TRO, the County Council is required to demonstrate an overriding public benefit of the restriction(s).

A Heavy Goods Vehicle is a vehicle that weighs more than 3.5 tonnes. Read more at GOV.UK (PDF).

You can find road classifications in highways and private roads at under the “List of Streets” section.

The review is only looking at HGV and lorry traffic under normal conditions. Large developments are required to produce a Construction Management Plan which sets out lorry routes to and from the site during construction. These plans are assessed independently of the review for the specific needs of the site and the impact on the local highway network.