LORD Lansdowne will tonight chair a public meeting as members of the campaign group Calne A4 – Say No More look to win public support for their bid to stop the Hills Group expansion at Lower Compton.

The group, headed up by a number of town councillors, wants to stop plans by Hills to expand its existing waste facility to take a higher volume of recycling.

They claim Calne cannot cope with another increase in traffic movements and carried out a lorry around the town on Tuesday, ahead of tonight’s meeting.

Coun Caroline Ramsey, one of the leading campaigners, said: “There are two main issues with expansion by Hills. Firstly, there is the road safety issue. There has to come a point where there are too many lorries in the town, and when you throw pedestrians, dog walkers and cyclists in the mix, it is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident.

“We have all the new houses being built at Sandpit Lane, which will mean even more children trying to cross the road where you have hundreds of lorries going past every day. It is the same the other end of town, where children walk home from John Bentley School.

“The other issue is the air quality. We already have dangerous levels of toxins in the air and more lorries will make it even worse.”

The lorry count took place at Lower Compton, the Bug and Spider roundabout, the start of the bypass and at the White Hart pub. Coun Ramsey said they counted 250 lorries at her post at the Bug and Spider in just seven hours, equating to almost 36 lorries an hour.

As well as tonight’s public meeting, which is at John Bentley School at 7pm, the campaigners have spoken to people in surrounding villages to generate support for what they believe is a winnable battle.

Coun Ramsey said: “We really need the people of Calne to get motivated about this and get behind us. We had 700 people turn up to a meeting when we had issues with travellers and I believe this issue is much more important than that.

“It would be great if we could get 1,000 people at the meeting. More than 2,000 have already signed the petition but we have to keep going.”