IT boasts some of Hampshire’s most historic buildings, including an ancient abbey, a newlyrestored tide mill and the ancestral home of Lord Montagu.

But highway chiefs have rejected calls to ban lorries from using the main road through Beaulieu, despite claims that vehicles rumbling down the narrow street are damaging the environment.

Truckers can continue to travel along the B3054 – also known as Palace Lane – following a decision by Hampshire County Council.

The authority is still considering a proposal to prevent HGVs from using the High Street, which leads off the main thoroughfare, but campaigners say the B3054 is where a ban is needed.

The Hon Ralph Montagu, Lord Montagu’s son and heir, is among those who want to see large commercial vehicles kept out of the village.

He said: “I don’t believe a lorry ban in the High Street alone would be worthwhile as Palace Lane is the main route for lorries and other traffic.”

Some of the pavements in Beaulieu are only 3ft wide and others just 2ft.

John Phipps, who runs a Palace Lane guesthouse, said: “We’ve blocked up our front door – it wasn’t safe because of the lorries and all the other vehicles.”

Truckers travelling across the New Forest say the B3054 is the most direct route from the Waterside to the Lymington area.

However, people living in Beaulieu’s ancient roadside cottages claim that lorries are causing potentially damaging vibrations as well as endangering pedestrians.

One resident said: “I’ll never forget the first time I heard a lorry go through. It felt like an earthquake.”

But Councillor Mel Kendal, the county council’s executive member for environment and transport, said a lorry ban on the B3054 had been ruled out following a study.

He added: “We are now assessing whether there is a case to simply ban HGVs from using the High Street as a through-route.”