Residents of a market town surrounded by County Durham countryside have been told there are no plans to ban lorries and tractors.

A public meeting was held in Wolsingham on Tuesday night where road safety on the B6296 road at Upper Town was discussed.

It was attended by about 120 people following rumours circulating on Facebook over plans to ban HGVs and farm traffic.

The Northern Echo: The meeting was held at the Charles Attwood Club The meeting was held at the Charles Attwood Club (Image: Contributor)Read more: Map reveals locations of defibrillators in the North East and North Yorkshire

The meeting, organised by Wolsingham Parish Council, was moved from St Anne’s Centre to the Charles Attwood Club as a bigger venue was needed because of the number of attendees.

Cllr Anita Savory, who sits on the parish council and Durham County Council, said she was acting as a county councillor and not representing the parish council at the meeting. 

She said if HGVs and agricultural traffic were stopped from using the road then every road in the area would be "at risk".

Cllr Savory said: “This is still a working dale. Even though we have lost much of the industry now but there is still a need for HGVs and tractors.

“To impose extra miles on hauliers and farmers is not an option. Some people have mooted that the cause of the problem is parking on Upper Town but yellow lines would hamper residents.”

It is understood meetings between concerned residents and representatives of Durham County Council have been held regarding the issue.

The Northern Echo: Concerns had been raised about the B6296 road at Upper Town Concerns had been raised about the B6296 road at Upper Town (Image: Google)Cllr Savory added: “A highways officer who attended in the town has been in the department since 1989 and he was of the opinion that there were no major issues with the road.”

Some residents said they were seeking a pedestrian crossing while others proposed a 40mph limit being added to Redgate bank to make it easier to reduce speed to 30mph.

Hauliers pointed out a ban from the road would mean higher costs for companies and increased carbon footprints.

The meeting was also attended by Durham County Councillor John Shuttleworth, the authority’s cabinet portfolio holder for Highways. 

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He said that it was not the function of Wolsingham Parish Council to propose any changes to any highway.

He said: “The B6296 road has no issues, no weight restrictions and surveys had not shown a problem with speeding.

“This meeting should not be taking place, the parish council has no remit at all as one of the parish councillors was told last year when this issue was first raised.”

The Northern Echo: Around 120 people attended the meeting Around 120 people attended the meeting (Image: Contributor)Parish council chairman David Sugden said the purpose of the meeting on Tuesday was to inform parish councillors of residents’ views ahead of the next council meeting at the Town Hall on October 10.

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He said: “There are always people who want to ban traffic but it was never a serious issue.

“This stuff does get spread around on Facebook but it is nonsense, all of it, nonsense.

“Those kinds of concerns do come from residents and the parish council does have to respond to these kind of questions but it would be unlawful and we cannot do it.”