Pall-Ex has thanked the local community following six weeks of road diversions close to its Ellistown base, as it braces itself for more disruption and road closures.
The company is now faced with a second bout of disruption as Leicestershire County Council has announced the overnight closure of part of the A511 between the Flying Horse and Stardust roundabouts – the area’s main route to the M1.
The new diversion, which yet again has been allocated without any consultation with local residents or businesses, will be in place between 8pm and 6am, while daytime traffic will be reduced to one lane during September and October.
The period of closures is one of the busiest times of the year for transport and distribution businesses due to the uplift in freight volumes created by pre-Christmas stock movements - something that has not been taken into consideration.
The move will cause additional chaos to the firm’s operation, as it has around 600 lorries visiting its headquarters per night, while also impacting on local residents commuting during the day and businesses that need to access the M1 at night.
The haulage firm has praised understanding local residents, who have seen 700 lorries a day pass through Ravenstone and Ibstock during July and August, due to parts of the B585 being closed.
The move has cost Pall-Ex and its SME members £300,000 in fuel costs alone, while the new diversion, which will add 22 miles to the route lorries take to its premises, is estimated to cost an additional £250,000.
Kevin Buchanan, Group managing director at Pall-Ex, comments: “We want to thank local residents for their support and understanding over the last six weeks, which has been a challenging time for everyone affected. The increase in traffic through local villages has caused disruption, but throughout the process we have made efforts to keep everyone informed and held a meeting with police to maximise safety. We continue to try to liaise with the Council on the need for additional signage to ensure the diversion route is communicated effectively.
We are critical of how the Council has communicated the road closures with the local community on both occasions. Yet again, neither residents or local businesses have been considered in their approach and no consultation has taken place.
“Pall-Ex is now faced with additional road closures that will have a major impact on our business. Again, the Council has neglected to liaise with us to find a more suitable solution. The new road closure will send our lorries through Thringstone, Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Coalville, adding 22 miles to the journey made by every vehicle. While the disruption to local residents will be reduced as the works will take place overnight, the disruption will be maximised for our drivers and members as this is the busiest time for a pallet network like Pall-Ex.
“Over the next few weeks, we will continue to educate our drivers on the latest road closure and diversion route and will continue to keep the community updated via our website and social media channels.”