Skip hire firm defends its use of narrow street

A JM Skip Hire lorry knocked down scaffolding on Westham High Street. SUS-140307-104228001
A JM Skip Hire lorry knocked down scaffolding on Westham High Street. SUS-140307-104228001

The company whose lorry was responsible for knocking down scaffolding in Westham High Street has defended its use of the narrow road.

A JM Skip Hire vehicle was travelling along the High Street on June 25 when it knocked into the scaffolding outside the Post Office, snapping a metal street lamp and destroying part of a high garden fence as well.

The residents of Westham High Street expressed concern that such large vehicles were travelling along a busy, narrow road and said they should be using the A27 bypass instead.

Daniel Stone, director at JM Skip Hire Ltd, said, “We do use the bypass reasonably regularly. In fact, it is easier for us to use the bypass but on that morning, that was an incident there that was causing traffic to build up, so we went through the High Street. It’s not the ideal route but it was the one most convenient at that time.

“We dealt with the incident pretty quickly, there was only a little bit of disruption but it certainly wasn’t for long. I looked at the CCTV from the Post Office and the driver was close to the scaffolding in order to avoid oncoming traffic. There was a scaffolding tube that jutted out slightly more than the others but on another occasion, that may not have been a problem.

“It is a public highway that we are allowed to use. I don’t mind what route we take as long as it’s quick. If there’s traffic on the bypass, we will use the High Street because if something slows us down, it affects our jobs for the rest of the day.”

Residents are asking East Sussex County Council to put a ban on lorries using the road.

Brian Banks, road safety manager at the council, said, “There are currently no restrictions on heavy vehicles using Westham High Street. While we have the ability to restrict the use of roads, it only applies to through traffic. Any vehicle needing to access a property or business in the area, or one of the number of industrial estates off the Eastbourne Road, would have a legitimate reason to use the road regardless of any restrictions. We would expect through traffic to already be using the A27 bypass.”