GREAT Ayton residents in Levenside and Guisborough Road say their houses are being shaken and their peace spoiled by heavy lorries.

A number described their worries at this week's annual parish meeting. They want weight restrictions or total bans on heavy vehicles using the A173 between Great Ayton, Guisborough and Stokesley.

Great Ayton Parish Council said it was investigating possible solutions with various road authorities.

Speaking at Monday night's village hall meeting, Levenside resident Trish Wright said the issue was raised 20 years ago, but never resolved.

"These bulk carriers and articulated lorries are large, and weight up to 42 tons. They thunder along and the drivers don't stick to speed limits. Our homes are shaking and I have to straighten my pictures every day. Can the lorries be stopped?"

She said huge lorries crossed well over the centre of the stone bridge across the River Leven. Recently, one driver could not get across and had to reverse into Bridge Street, then return toward Stokesley.

Large lorries also struggled to pass between rows of parked cars outside Christ Church during funerals, which was particularly upsetting for mourners.

As well as British lorries, they came from European countries.

Resident Brian Winn said previous bridge-strengthening work had contributed to Great Ayton's problem.

Chairman Coun Frances Greenwell sympathised, but said speeding was a police matter.

Coun John Fletcher said the police claimed recently-installed but unpopular traffic-calming measures had worked. Again, he sympathised but said: "It is an A-road and, therefore, a highway. However, we have asked North Yorkshire County Council highways department to have a look at mitigating the traffic.

"Road signs are unclear and seem to be in the wrong direction. I don't think there's a sign at Pinchinthorpe. A survey was carried out years ago and we've asked the authorities to carry out a new one."

He understood the A173 was featured on lorry drivers' maps and some speakers said the route was recommended by the Road Hauliers' Association.

However, Coun Margaret Stevens said different firms recommended different routes. In her haulage industry experience, local firms going to and from Boulby Potash Mine had been asked to avoid the A173 and join the A172 from Nunthorpe to Stokesley or the A19.

However, drivers from outside the area or abroad were unaware of this.

One woman called for weight restrictions, saying these were successfully imposed at Collingham, near Wetherby, to prevent heavy lorry drivers taking shortcuts between the A1 and Leeds.

Little Ayton farmer Clifford Petch said hauliers' habits were set years ago.

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