Parish councils have welcomed a haulage firm’s scheme to stop its large lorries using their villages as short cuts.

After several years of campaigning by councils Mick George has launched an initiative to put community safety first by creating 'no drive zones' throughout Huntingdonshire villages including Colne and Earith.

The launch of the programme will see gadgets installed in all of its 350-strong fleet to track where and how fast its drivers go. The company will also be ordering a 20 mile per hour speed limit in high risk areas.

The approach is being brought in to minimise disturbance to local residents and the potential of injury or death caused by dangerous driving.

Earith Parish Council clerk Mandy Pink told The Hunts Post: "The initiative is fantastic. Road speed is always concerning for everybody, I know in the high street in Earith we get a number of heavy goods vehicles pounding through here and the parish council have applauded Mick George for its thinking.

"Residents on the high street have already commented that there are less lorries coming through the village than previously."

As a result of the Mick George scheme, Earith Parish Council along with other authorities hope that more hauliers will follow suit.

Owen McLaughlin, secretary of the Joint Parishes HCV Group said: "For several years the HCV Group has campaigned to persuade hauliers and the relevant authorities to reduce the HCV traffic through villages. We were therefore delighted to hear that Mick George Ltd has decided to voluntarily ban their vehicles from these routes, unless delivering along them.

"We hope others will follow this example and exercise their corporate social responsibility towards our communities."

The initiative will mean that when one of its fleet enters a 'no drive zone' the control room will be notified to tell the driver to take another route.

Joe Gossage, transport manager at Mick George Ltd said: "Some of the general figures that have been presented to us have been staggering and naturally a cause for concern among local communities. We are pleased to be working closely with residents and Local Parish Councils to supply the necessary resources to overcome these issues."

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