LORRY restrictions will be enforced on a Lechlade Road to combat HGVs which use it as an illegal short cut and help contribute to it having the worst air quality in the Cotswolds.

Residents in Thames Street have had to suffer for years from lorries using Lechlade as a rat run, despite signs warning them that there are length restrictions in place.

At a recent meeting of Cotswold District Council it was reported that the area has the worst air quality in the district, with lorries queuing at the traffic lights on Thames Street and leaving their engines running being a major factor.

Lechlade Town Council has been in talks with the Highways Agency and Gloucestershire Police about how to tackle it.

Town and district councillor Sue Coakley said previously lorries had said by the time they saw the signs it was too late as Thames Street is too narrow to turn around in.

Now signs have been put up in Highworth and Faringdon warning HGV drivers that Lechlade is now closed to them.

A spokesman for the police said: “These new signs provide us with more power to take action against drivers of vehicles that exceed the length restriction.”

Lorry drivers breaking the regulation will now face a fine of £50 or a court summons if caught by the police.

Cllr Coakley welcomed the move.

“Once enforcement action is taken, word will spread between drivers and lorries will hopefully stop coming through the town.

“If we get this right, it could have a positive effect on the air quality.”