TALKS have taken place which could lead to lorries being diverted away from Halstead in a bid to ease town centre congestion.

Representatives from Halstead, Sudbury, Essex and Suffolk councils met on Monday.

They have joined forces to try find a solution to problems caused by large lorries driving through the centre of Halstead.

HGVs travelling between Halstead and Sudbury use the A131 which runs through the town.

Traffic in the town is often disrupted by lorries trying to manoeuvre through the narrow streets.

Head Street is one of the worst affected areas with residents regularly finding trucks at a standstill just inches from their front doors.

There are also concerns about air and noise pollution caused by large vehicles.

Halstead mayor Andrew Munday represented the town council at the meeting.

He said: “We had a working group meeting with Sudbury last night and that was a really really good constructive meeting.

“We had a really good hour-long meeting and both went away with action points.

“We made Head Street a priority from Halstead’s point of view because that is the pinch point.

“I came back last night and witnessed two lorries, one of which mounted the pavement coming towards me and it was just ironic that we had been sitting there not that long before talking about it.”

An idea to change te official strategic lorry route would divert HGVs along the A12 to Colchester’s Northern Gateway at junction 28 before heading north on the A134, bypassing Halstead.

The proposal is still only in the planning stage.

Speaking at Halstead Town Council this week, county councillor Joanne Beavis said the ball was now in Suffolk and Sudbury’s court but she had raised the issue with County Hall leader David Finch.

She said: “I attended a meeting yesterday which I also brought up at county council today.

“We were talking about the strategic lorry route which has been brought up by members of the public gallery previously.

“I said I would make a statement at the county council today which I did.

“David Finch took my question and he said from our point of view, if you are able to set up a meeting and invite him, he will come along.

“So that’s our bit done now and it’s over to Suffolk.”

The councils will now seek a ‘round table’ meeting with Essex and Suffolk county highways officers.