Ban Heavy Lorries from Glastonbury's Tourist Trail!

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Somerset County Council: RE-ROUTE the HGVs that are spoiling Glastonbury’s treasured environment

Known internationally for its music festival and attracting visitors from around the world to its sacred sites, Glastonbury is an ancient place of pilgrimage whose economy thrives on tourism. Glastonbury Tor alone received 340,000 visitors in 2006 (the last official estimate), while the Abbey attracts about 100,000 per year, the Chalice Well 50,000.

Our visitors are put in grave danger when walking along the A361 between Glastonbury’s attractions. Huge articulated lorries hurtle past crocodiles of school children, coach loads of tourists and hundreds of local visitors every day of the year, as well as joggers, dog walkers and those out for a stroll - all having to walk along pavements in places so narrow that two pedestrians cannot pass one another without stepping into the road. The pavement access to the Tor footpath is one of the most frequented and most dangerous in Somerset! There have been numerous accidents involving pedestrians. It's only a question of time before we have another fatality.

And it's not just visitors who suffer: one tenth of the town's population live along the A361, around 900 residents! Over 300 homes and historic cottages are subject to atrocious levels of noise, pollution and subsidence caused by the constant vibration of heavy lorries. Cracking of walls and ceilings is common, many homes have sustained extensive damage.

All of this degrades the environment for those living in the town, discourages visitors from returning and endangers the lives of all. The A361 through Glastonbury is old, narrow and winding, in places there are no pavements and the roadway is not wide enough for two HGVs to pass. The final straw is that we are now facing the likelihood of additional lorries passing through delivering aggregate to build the giant nuclear plant at Hinkley Point. One article has predicted around 400 extra lorries per day.

Enough is enough! This road is not fit for purpose and should not be used as a thoroughfare by freight companies.

We call on Somerset County Council Highways Department to reclassify the A361 through Glastonbury, imposing a maximum weight limit of 7.5T, and removing its freight route designation. Similar weight restrictions have been imposed in nearby Frome, Langport and Bruton - none of which have the population size or staggering visitor numbers of Glastonbury.

Lighten the Load - Take Glastonbury off the Freight Network!