COUNCILLORS are demanding action to stop lorries cutting through Dorchester.

Town councillors have raised concerns that heavy goods vehicles are driving through the town to avoid the A35 bypass causing noise and traffic pollution.

At a planning and environment committee meeting on Monday, councillors heard how Dorset Police have agreed to work with the town council, Dorset County Council and the Highways Agency to monitor the issue.

Coun Trevor Jones welcomed the involvement of Dorset Police.

He also pointed out that the move could be a step towards improving the pollution issue in High West Street and High East Street, after levels were found to be in breach of EU regulations in 2009.

Coun Jones said: “I am hoping the police will follow a few heavy goods vehicles in an unmarked car to see what they do.

“They can’t follow them all but they can follow some of them.”

He added: “This is more relevant now than in years gone by because we have this air quality issue in the high street with no solution at the moment.

“I’m not saying it will solve the problem completely but reducing the number of heavy goods vehicles going through the town can only help.”

Coun Tony Lyall added: “We need to get these heavy goods vehicles out of the town.

“It’s not only illegal but it’s also worsening the pollution problems.

“I think it’s good that Dorset Police have agreed to monitor the issue but it will be difficult to catch them.”

Coun Susie Hosford said the police are welcoming reports from members of the public of any lorries using the town as a cut through.

She said: “Inspector Les Fry said that if any member of the public followed a lorry right through the town without stopping, if they let them know then that would be really helpful.”

Councillors agreed that part of the problem is the signage indicating the town centre weight restriction.

They said the signs are not evident on the A35 approaches into Dorchester until lorries are committed to their route, leaving them no choice but to continue travelling into and through the county town.

Coun Hosford said: “We need signs before the roundabouts.

“They need to be seen in advance so that drivers can make a decision before they reach the town.”

It was agreed at the meeting that the town council would request that Dorset County Council and the Highways Agency review the adequacy of the signage prior to any police action.

Inspector Les Fry of Dorchester police said: “We will work with the town council and highways to monitor the issue.

“We will be looking to see if there is a problem and what can be done to resolve it.”