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Lorry park plan fears

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By Newsdesk
Annan and Eskdale
Lorry park plan fears

PLANS have been submitted which could see a lorry park built less than a mile outside Gretna.

But local community councillors are concerned the development could see dozens of extra trucks rumbling through their villages every day.

Last week Carlisle City Council received an application seeking permission for the creation of a lorry park and commercial van garage at a site at Mill Hill on the A6071 Gretna to Longtown Road.

The site is located just 800 metres from junction 45 of the M6, and the application states the location was strategically chosen to capture traffic heading for the A7 trunk road.

If approved, the lorry park will deliver up to 40 parking bays and welfare facilities for HGV drivers, with typical duration of stay ranging from two hours to overnight.

There will also be a commercial van garage primarily for the preparation and service of vans prior to sale at auction, although some sale viewings will also take place.

But although the applicant does not intend to signpost the park from the M6/A74(M), both Gretna and Rigg Community Council and Springfield and Gretna Green Community Council are concerned that some truckers may be forced to pass through their communities for access to the motorway to the north.

At a meeting on Tuesday evening, Gretna chairman Alex Thompson said:

“It’s good that the development might create jobs, but if wagons are heading north they will be coming right through Gretna.

“We have enough problems with vehicles as it is.”

Springfield and Gretna Green Community Council has already sent a formal objection to Carlisle City Council which reads: “Any HGVs using the proposed site and wanting to head north to Scotland and access the M74 north or A75 west will have to use the B7076 Glasgow Road or the C141a through the villages.

“Both are already busy with HGVs plus the coaches that visit the World Famous Blacksmiths Shop.

“We have numerous complaints about HGV traffic noise on the B7076, and also speeding issues.

“There are already truck stop facilities within 20 to 30 minutes of the proposed site at Longtown, Carlisle and Ecclefechan, is there a need for another one?

“We feel that the increased traffic impact will have a detrimental effect on our community.”

A document submitted as part of the application explains that the lorry park would not be signposted from the motorway and instead traffic would be drawn from the A6071 and A7, although it acknowledges that any traffic wishing to access the A74(M) would do so via the B7076 or C141a.

It reads: “The former is considered the more desirable route passing only a small section of the urban conurbation of Gretna Green and vehicles would be directed to use this route where possible; however both of these options are established routes for HGVs between the A6071 and A74(M) including the commercial uses in the vicinity of the site.

“Even if it is robustly assumed that a third of vehicles trips are to/from the A74(M), this would equate to 13 movements in an hour, or a trip every five minute, which would be distributed between the two available routes and would not be perceivable from existing traffic flows.”

An additional application document states that the site would create employment opportunities, but does not specify how many jobs might be created.

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