angry lorry drivers claim quarry bosses’ will put lives at risk by forcing them to change their routes.
Two workers who drive lorries from Dene Quarry, in Cromford Hill, contacted the Mercury this week to say Tarmac, had issued new mileage guidelines and they were no longer paid to avoid town centres.
They claimed the new rules could force heavy lorries to use Lime Tree Hill and Slack Hill in Matlock.
They said they used to be given an allowance for 23 miles to Chesterfield and now it is only 15 so drivers are being asked to use the shortest route – through the town centre.
One driver, who did not want to be named, said: “Part of an agreement struck with lorry drivers and Tarmac was that lorries would not to go through Matlock but should go round.
“But because of penny pinching measures Tarmac has cut the mileage.”
Currently drivers going to Chesterfield come down Cromford Hill, turn right on to the A6 to Ambergate and then use the A610, A38 and A61 or the M1 to J29. But now, as the price of fuel rockets, many fear they will have to use shorter routes.
Another driver, who also did not want to be named, said: “The longer routes cut out Matlock but some drivers could be forced to go over Lime tree Hill if they won’t pay us for going round.
“It is a health and safety issue and all the drivers are really concerned.
“If a 44 tonne lorry runs away down the hill this could put lives at risk and there are two schools on Lime Tree Hill.
“The residents of Matlock don’t want thundering lorries going through the town.
“The drivers have got together and said we don’t want to go over Lime Tree Hill but at the same time we need to make a living.”
A spokeswoman for Tarmac said they had called a meeting with the lorry drivers for Monday to discuss the changes.
She added: “Going through Matlock is a more direct route and there are no weight restrictions on the roads.
“We are telling drivers they should always take the shortest route.
“Historically they have always gone around Matlock but other hauliers go through the town centre.
“The meeting on Monday will hopefully give the drivers more clarity on what route they should be taking.
“All companies have to operate in an effective way and if that is a more direct route and it is all perfectly legal for vehicles to go through, there isn’t any real argument that they should be taking the longer route.
“We understand drivers have got some concerns which is why we have organised this meeting.”