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Cement mixer dumps wet concrete on banned route

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A company whose lorry spilt wet cement on the road while trying to drive up Grove Hill has backed residents' calls for tougher enforcement of the weight restriction limit.

SRC Aggregates said last week's incident involving a cement mixer was a "one-off" as its drivers knew not to use the restricted route. Cameras, resulting in fines, would be the only way to deter those who ignored the 7.5 tonne limit, said readymix manager John Stanford.

"Putting cameras up there would help - to hit people in the pocket and fine them. As far as I am aware, the cement mixer was a one-off incident. The driver, who hasn't been with us long, got a bit lost and panicked, but we do not condone it as it's flouting the law," he said.

A cement mixer tries to negotiate Grove Hill (18762814)
A cement mixer tries to negotiate Grove Hill (18762814)

"We have our vehicles on trackers and we do not normally use that route as most of the drivers are familiar with the area and know where they can and cannot go - there are plenty of alternative routes."

He said SRC would investigate setting up a geofence system to alert them when vehicles entered a restricted zone and he would also personally visit the site to check whether signage was sufficient to alert drivers to the weight limit in place.

The company sent out a road sweeper on Saturday to dilute the spilt concrete, organised for window cleaners to remove the dust from residents' windows and for a glazier to repair the window of Andrew McDonnell's house, which was hit by stones left from the spillage.

Wet concrete and stones are spilt along Grove Hill (18762980)
Wet concrete and stones are spilt along Grove Hill (18762980)

Mr McDonnell, whose home has suffered structural damage before as a result of being hit by an oversized lorry, praised SRC for its "apologetic and helpful" response, but accused Essex county highways of "passing the buck". It had sent a team at 11.45pm that night to scrap the cement off the road, which was "very noisy" and had left homes covered in dust.

"Essex Highways washed their hands with the situation. They were unhelpful and did not seem to care," he said.

A county highways spokesperson said: "Uttlesford Local Highway Panel is progressing a scheme to improve signs on the approach to Grove Hill."

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