Fear as metal slab flies off lorry and embeds itself outside woman's house

A businesswoman sick of HGVs on her estate watched a sharp metal slab fly from a lorry and embed itself less than a foot from her front window. It was one of three that fell off the back of a truck mounting a kerb to squeeze past another vehicle in Linton Road, Castle Gresley. One landed just half-a-foot from Becky Lees’ front window, which hundreds of schoolchildren pass every day.

Residents say it was not the first dangerous incident involving lorries mounting kerbs. They claim the street’s 7.5-tonne weight limit sign was moved by the county council to allow access for construction traffic building a nearby housing development. But when the new homes were finished around three years ago, they say, the sign was not put back – and lorries continue to use Linton Road as a shortcut to the A38 and Drakelow.

41-year-old Ms Lees said: “We found it started getting worse after St Peter’s Bridge closed (for refurbishment in 2017) as the lorry drivers didn’t want to get stuck in traffic or go all the way to Burton to then come back. “There was one recent incident where I was driving to my house and saw an unmarked lorry trying to pass another one. It mounted the kerb and I saw something fly off it.

“One slab fell into the road, then we realised there were three – one in my neighbour’s garden and two in mine. It had landed sticking out of the ground. “If it was about half-a-foot further, it would’ve smashed through my window.

“About 30 minutes before that, we had all the schoolchildren coming down.”

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The latest incident came after another resident, 71-year-old Dave Williams, was hit by the wing mirror of a vehicle also mounting the kerb. And a man in his 90s fell over walking when the force of a passing lorry “sucked him into the road”, residents claim. Self-employed Ms Lees said: “Every day they’re mounting kerbs.

“They’re going from Linton Road to Rosliston, Catton Park, past the National Memorial Arboretum and to the A38. “Derbyshire County Council tells us to go to the police and trading standards. “They both say unless you have the name of the company, they can’t do anything.

“But by the time you’ve got outside to see what it is, the vehicle’s gone. “We have no problem with developments if the infrastructure can take it, but the only way this road can take anything else is to widen it, which you can’t do.” The issue was raised in the latest Linton Area Forum meeting, in which Councillor Dan Pegg, who represents Castle Gresley on South Derbyshire District Council, purposely dropped one of the slabs to the ground to demonstrate the danger.

He told the meeting: “If that had hit someone on the head, they’d be gone. “We need signs to restrict vehicles over 7.5 tonnes.” During the meeting, Councillor Pat Murray, who represents the area on the county council, said the council could not be responsible for anything falling from lorries.

A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council told Burton Live: “Most of the roads in Castle Gresley and the surrounding area are subject to an area-wide weight limit. A few are exempt from this weight limit including Linton Road to allow HGVs legitimate access to and from the A444. “We take road safety matter very seriously but there have been no accidents causing injury reported on Linton Road in the past five years and traffic calming measures would not be advisable on a road such as this which is designated as a route for HGVs.

“However, if HGVs are driving dangerously by mounting the kerb, this would be a matter for the police.”

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