Kenilworth resident claims wife almost killed due to vehicles trying to pass parked lorry by High Street project

A lorry (left) mounting the pavement trying to pass the parked lorry (right) outside 39 High Street. The left lorry is not the one that almost knocked down Maggie Bartmanis.
A lorry (left) mounting the pavement trying to pass the parked lorry (right) outside 39 High Street. The left lorry is not the one that almost knocked down Maggie Bartmanis.
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A Kenilworth resident is ‘up in arms’ about a parked lorry causing an obstruction on his road, claiming another lorry which tried to get past almost killed his wife.

Ojars Bartmanis, who lives in High Street with his wife Maggie, is very concerned about the apparent danger a truck which parks opposite a development at 39 High Street, owned by Warwick district councillor Peter Whiting, causes for pedestrians.

When the truck is parked, there is very little room for other vehicles to get past due to how narrow High Street is. Large vehicles such as HGVs are forced to mount the pavement.

Ojars said: “My wife stepped out into the pavement two weeks ago and almost got hit.

“Maggie was nearly knocked down, but nobody seems to want to help.

“We are so angry about this. It’s an accident waiting to happen - someone could get killed.”

The site is owned by Cllr Whiting and his wife Shirley, who are building a new ‘Passivhaus’ property in place of the old house which is being demolished.

They have said they are in touch with the contractors delivering the project ‘all the time’ and said they have done as much as they can to try and mitigate the potential danger and disruption, such as getting a worker in a high-visibility jacket to direct traffic when the lorry is parked.

The couple said they have also put in an application to widen the access route into the site so lorries will be able to get in more easily and therefore not have to park right outside.

Shirley added: “It’s there two or three times a day for about 15 to 18 minutes. The object is for the lorry to grab material off the site, and it will have to continue for a few more weeks.

And Cllr Whiting said widening the access route would ‘make the situation better’, adding: “It’s clearly an issue with the size of the vehicle. There’s always going to be a degree of disruption during the build process.”

Planning permission was granted for the development by Warwick District Council’s planning committee in June last year. Warwickshire County Council’s Highways department had no objections to the plans.

Ojars and Maggie had actually objected to the plans at the time, although their concerns related to safety of cars exiting the house once it had been built, rather than to do with pedestrian safety during the build. In their submission to the district council, they said: “The proposed development constitutes a danger to life.

We have lived on High Street for over one year. The volume of traffic is far greater than we could have imagined, and includes buses, coaches, HGVs and delivery vehicles.”

But the district council’s officers recommended permission be granted because the project ‘will not result in any significant impact upon the streetscene, setting of the conservation area and other heritage assets, neighbouring amenity or highway safety’. The committee agreed, and decide to grant permission.