CAMPAIGNERS say they will not give up the fight to stop unnecessary HGVs passing through their town.

Members of the Barnard Castle HGV Action Group have been calling for action from Durham County Council following decades of complaints about the vehicles damaging historic landmarks such as the Market Cross, which acts as a roundabout.

Since being formed in 2016, the group has proposed several short and long-term resolutions to the problem, including a permit scheme and a relief road as part of the County Durham Plan.

A public meeting was held last summer where the majority of attendees agreed to supporting a permit scheme - meaning non-essential HGVs travelling between West Auckland and Bowes would be banned from the town and have to sue the A68, A1(M) and A66 instead.

More damage has been caused in the last few weeks.

Now the group has received news from the council to say that it will reposition traffic lights on Abbey Bridge and put up signs in Birch Road and Victoria Road to deter HGVs.

However, following a recent traffic survey which looked at the number of lorries crossing the Abbey Bridge and travelling through the town, members have been told there was not enough evidence to support their claim that the town is being used as a "rat run" and therefore a permit scheme would be "bureaucratic".

Action group member, Judi Sutherland, said the group was not convinced by the results of the survey and would look to hold their own.

"There's a lot of scepticism and we find the survey hard to believe," she said. "I feel we need to ramp up what we do rather than give up."

Ms Sutherland added: "People are really angry at what keeps happening."

Dave Wafer, the council's strategic traffic manager, said the survey, carried out over ten hours in February, found there were 113 lorries going over Abbey Bridge and only 11 did not stop in the town.

He said: "This supports previous findings that the majority of lorries in the town centre are serving the local area.

"The recent survey also confirms that a permit system, which would be costly and bureaucratic to administer, would deter less than ten per cent of vehicles."