On Monday morning I left my home at 07.57 and drove past HMP Full Sutton and the new site. I witnessed two brand new HGVs, that had driven in the wrong direction to the temporary access, parked up on the grass verge as the site entrance was only just being unlocked.
The MOJ MUST ensure that an “Operation Stack” is in place to deal with such situations so “that the access will operate safely”. The MOJ should not instead force HGV drivers to park on the grass verge as this will result in more ruts and damage to the grass verge habitat.
Given my observations on Monday, yesterday at the same time, I paid a third site visit to monitor the situation. I was shocked by what I witnessed.
To begin with, as the gate was just being opened I did a U-Turn to come back to monitor the situation. While in the process of the U-Turn three HGVs drove in the wrong direction to the temporary access in a repeat of the previous mornings observations.
When I arrived back at the temporary entrance I witnessed an unofficial Operation Stack that backed up into a blind bend as HGVs could not enter the site fast enough.
HGVs traveling in the opposite direction were then forced to further damage the grass verge.
In essence, ABSOLUTE CHAOS and a danger to local residents.
I talked with some of the HGV drivers who expressed their justifiable dissatisfaction with the situation. I was informed that this level of activity had only commenced a few days ago. One driver profoundly stated:
“Some big cheese has obviously come up with this ridiculous idea”
While all of this was going on school buses are scheduled.
URGENT ACTION REQUIRED
In the interests of highway safety immediate, urgent action is required:
- The temporary access MUST be closed as it clearly is operated in breach of planning conditions “that the access will operate safely”
- Safe and secure access is available via the current Prison entrance – this MUST be utilised.
- A wheel wash MUST be used. Currently, there is no wheel wash in operation as debris is still being dragged onto the road.
- HGVs MUST approach the site via the approved route.
- The “unofficial Operation Stack” MUST NOT take place on the public highway.
- An official Operation Stack MUST be introduced safely on the extensive road network of the current Prison. This is used by staff, prison visitors, and the local bus service.
- ERYC MUST inform the MOJ of that which I have raised.
ERYC Negligence – The Result
School Children Safety
Given the current danger to those using this road, I would recommend to all parents whose children are traveling on the school buses to consider their child’s safety.
Perhaps less dangerous alternatives could be explored.