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A1 closure sparks worries of stuck lorries

The county council is asking lorry drivers to be “extra cautious” when they are diverted through the centre of Grantham after a large vehicle became stuck and traffic lights were damaged.

Traffic is being diverted off the A1 at Grantham[1] overnight for work to be carried out as part of the construction of the new southern relief road.

But there have been complaints about lorries getting stuck[2] at the junction of Westgate and Dysart Road in Grantham town centre and damage to traffic lights. Local resident Paul Hodges complained of traffic building up in the town centre when a lorry with an abnormal load got stuck outside his home for an hour.

Paul Hodges took this picture of the lorry trying to negotiate the corner of Dysart Road and Westgate. (48097138)

Paul Hodges took this picture of the lorry trying to negotiate the corner of Dysart Road and Westgate. (48097138)

Paul Hodges took this picture of the lorry trying to negotiate the corner of Dysart Road and Westgate. (48097138)

In response to the complaints Lincolnshire County Council highways department says it is asking lorry drivers to be ‘extra cautious’ while driving through the town centre.

Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “We understand the questions and concerns residents have about the HGV diversion route in place for our final set of night-time A1 works.

“This route was selected because the A606/A607 was not available to us due to other works in the area. The diversion we are using also saves drivers over thirty minutes compared to using the A606/A607, meaning all A1 users are less affected by our night-time closures.

“These A1 closures are still on track to finish in September. In the meantime, we ask all lorry drivers to be extra cautious when driving through Grantham and to contact Galliford Try if they are carrying an abnormal load so they can discuss alternative options with the team in advance.

“I also want to thank residents for staying patient throughout these works and understanding the benefits the new relief road will bring Grantham when it’s fully opened in 2023.”



References

  1. ^ diverted off the A1 at Grantham (www.granthamjournal.co.uk)
  2. ^ complaints about lorries getting stuck (www.granthamjournal.co.uk)

Government lease for lorry park use at Manston will not be extended beyond June 30

Manston Photo Frank Leppard

The Government has today (June 18) confirmed that it will not extend its use of Manston airport as a lorry holding facility beyond June 30, when the current lease expires.

South Thanet MP, Craig Mackinlay, received the news in a letter from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Rachel Maclean MP.

The Government acquired Manston for the period to the end of June as a contingency in case freight traffic was disrupted at the end of the EU Transition Period. These circumstances no longer apply.

The current assessment based on analysis of predicted tourist traffic levels during the summer and potential knock-on impact on freight traffic shows that the use of the site this summer is not required.

South Thanet MP, Craig Mackinlay, said: “I hope my South Thanet constituents and the people of Thanet and East Kent will find this decision reassuring, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their understanding over these last few months.”

Operations at the site were officially suspended at the end of March.[1]

Hundreds of staff worked at the lorry park on temporary contracts and it is understood they were offered transfer to other sites including Ashford, Thurrock, Ebbsfleet and a new one being developed at Guston.

The contract to use part of the Manston site as a lorry park was extended until the end of June 2021 in a deal made between landowners RiverOak Strategic Partners, former landowners but lorry site operators Stone Hill Park and the Department of Transport.

The site came into use earlier than the planned January 1 date after the French government closed the border to UK travellers and accompanied freight going into the country shortly before Christmas over fears of the spreading ‘Kent’ variant of covid.

The move led to the site being parked up to capacity with a large backlog of HGVs on county roads.

Photo Hazel Nicholls

Currently further representations are invited for the Secretary of State’s re-determination of the application by RiverOak Strategic Partners for an order granting Development Consent for the reopening and development of Manston Airport.

The Secretary of State has also appointed an independent aviation assessor to advise him on matters relating to the need for the development and to produce a report summarising those findings.

Submission deadline is July 9.

A Development Consent Order granting approval for an air freight hub at Manston airport  was  quashed in February with a new decision now needing to be issued after a re-examination of the Planning Inspectorate evidence.

The action came as the result of a Judicial Review challenge to the decision, launched by Ramsgate resident Jenny Dawes last year, which was to have been heard in the High Court.

The substantive hearing was due to look at whether the Government followed correct procedure in reaching the decision to approve the DCO for airport landowners RiverOak Strategic Partners.

But, last December the Department of Transport acknowledged that the decision approval letter issued from the Minister of State did not contain enough detail about why approval was given against the advice of the Planning Inspectorate and said the Judicial Review would not be contested.

An official consent order was issued from the court to quash the DCO.

Responses should be sent by email to [email protected][2], marked “For the attention of the Manston Airport Case Team”.

Representations and the new reports will be available to see after the deadline at https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/manston-airport/[3]

Behind the Wheel: An electrifying partnership

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Boxer went from 2 years out of sport driving lorry for B&Q to becoming Olympian

Team GB’s Cheavon Clarke has been given more than enough signs that boxing possibly wasn’t for him – from almost dying twice to quitting the sport all together and becoming a lorry driver.

But against odds the 30-year-old, originally born in Jamaica before moving to South London[1], managed to climb to the top and recently punched his name on the ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

On finally clinching his spot at this year’s delayed tournament, Cheavon told My London[2] he’s “more relieved than excited.”

“To be honest I’m just relieved. The job’s not done, when the job’s done I’ll be excited,” Cheavon said.

READ MORE: Senior Met Police Officer wins back job after tribunal rules sacking over child abuse clip was unfair[3]

Cheavon was driving lorries for a living before becoming a Team GB Olmypian
Cheavon was driving lorries for a living before becoming a Team GB Olmypian (Image: Cheavon Clarke)

The heavyweight boxer has his sight firmly fixed on a gold medal but four years ago Cheavon, known to his friends as Chev, was driving a lorry for a living.

Cheavon made a strong start in boxing and at the tender age of 18 years old he was winning championships.

A ruptured appendix months into his budding career which almost killed him couldn’t even stop the Jamaica-born fighter’s prospects.

After a six-month break he continued on a tear through the sport. Frustrating decisions against him and an unsuccessful trial for Team GB had the star contemplating his future in the sport, but he still couldn’t be stopped.

Cheavon competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games representing Jamaica, but it was a surprising loss at the tournament that finally put his boxing career on pause.

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I lost and I shouldn’t have,” Cheavon said.

“To make it worse everyone was saying ‘that was terrible, I should have won that’ so I was like ‘I’m putting up the gloves’ and stopped boxing for two years.”

As one of the best young boxing talents in the UK, Cheavon put it on pause, taking a lorry driving job delivering to Homebase and B&Q.

During his hiatus between 2014 and 2016, the incoming Olympian said he “loved” his new job.

“I was making money,” Cheavon laughed.

Frustrated with boxing Cheavon stopped to be a lorry driver
Frustrated with boxing Cheavon stopped to be a lorry driver (Image: Cheavon Clarke)

He continued: “Up until December 2015 I didn’t train or do nothing. It was great, I loved lorry driving, any time boxing gets on my nerves, back in the lorry.

“I just go on what I feel, if I enjoy something I do it, I’m not a slave to my trade, I do what I enjoy. It was fun, it was really great.”

Cheavon said his friends constantly pestered him to get back into boxing during his time away and at the close of 2015 his coach, out of the blue, told him to prepare for a March bout.

Before he knew it Cheavon was back competing again at a high level picking up medals and finally landing a spot with Team GB where he competed at the European Championships winning a silver medal in 2017.

The boxer who only started boxing as a teenager looking for something to do in the summer, became Team GB’s number one fighter.

On his start in boxing Cheavon said: ” I used to play football and that was my thing, I was passionate differently about football, people said I should box because I would always be shadow boxing.

“It was one summer my friends were trying to convince me to go to a weights gym and I was like weights are pointless, it’s boring then I saw the boxing club down the road from me.

“So I tricked my friend into going with me.”

On his rise to the top Cheavon has crossed paths with the likes of Anthony Joshua, Rio Ferdinand and even Prince Charles.

The prospect of being a global boxing star along with other British fighters Joshua and Daniel Dubois doesn’t phase Cheavon, he’s focused on one goal.

“I know I can beat anybody in the world,” Cheavon said.

He continued: “Right now the focus is going to the Olympics and executing and performing.

“I don’t care about nothing else. They could offer me a million pounds, nope, Olympic medal.”

Stowaway kitty survives week-long trip from Romania to UK | ITV News

A four-week-old stowaway kitten has survived a week-long trip from Romania to Bedford. 

Roman was trapped in a hot lorry and arrived to the UK dehydrated and fighting for survival.

The tiny cat needed intensive care and fluids after being rescued by Cats Protection volunteers.

He was only discovered after staff at a warehouse in Marsh Leys opened the doors of the truck to unload a furniture delivery. 

Thankfully for the team at the warehouse, one of their fellow colleagues, Tamsin Eastwood, also co-ordinates the nearby Cats Protection branch.

Credit: Cats Protection

It is thought Roman had snuck on board the lorry looking for a place to sleep for the night. 

Roman will spend the next three months in quarantine under government guidelines.

He is currently waiting on a rabies vaccine before being sent back to Cats Protection for rehoming.

The charity have now launched an appeal to raise money[1] to cover Roman’s vets bill which has raised more than £1,000.

References

  1. ^ now launched an appeal to raise money (www.justgiving.com)