LORRIES could be banned from driving though Halstead in a bid to end gridlock in the town.

Town council bosses are calling for heavy goods vehicles travelling between Braintree and Sudbury on the A131 to be diverted away from the town.

Halstead and Sudbury town councils are working together to try get lorries rerouted.

Traffic through Halstead is often brought to a standstill by HGVs trying to manoeuvre through the town.

One of the worst pinch-points is the junction of Head Street and Colchester Road, by St Andrew’s Church.

There are also concerns about air pollution from the volume of traffic.

The latest plan to reduce the problem is to change the official lorry route.

Instead of using the A131 through Halstead to Sudbury, lorries would be redirected to stay on the A12 and join the A134 at Colchester’s Northern Gateway at Junction 28 before heading north.

At a meeting on Monday, town councillors unanimously agreed with the plans.

They were concerned by the inconvenience caused by the lorries and about the safety of pedestrians and motorists.

Councillor Jackie Pell said: “There are more and more lorries and they’re getting bigger and bigger – it’s not fair to the people of Head Street.

“They should be able to access their front door and not have to breathe in all the fumes.

“All of Halstead’s roads are unsuitable for lorries. They were for horse and carriages, but with more development comes more lorries.

“We’ve raised it with Braintree District Council and there have been meetings with Essex County councillors, but we are getting nowhere.

“They are upgrading the A131, which runs right through Halstead, but they have no regard for what their work is actually doing to Halstead.

“It’s going to be a problem and, in fact, it already is a problem.

“They don’t have a solution to the problem so they just forget about it.

“The plans won’t solve the problem but it will help.”

Mrs Pell renewed calls for a bypass.

“We need the bypass and it isn’t something I’m going to forget about – I’ve been campaigning for it for 25 years,” she said.

“The bypass is still in local plans, but there isn’t the money to actually do it.

“At the moment, though, anything is better than nothing when you consider what we have now and it’s going to get worse.

“I understand the bypass isn’t possible at the moment so you’ve got to try everything you can as a solution in the short term.

Both Halstead and Sudbury town councils are setting up working groups and will push their county councils to try move the proposal forward.

lorries re-routed.