Over one hundred South Surrey residents took to the streets on Saturday morning to raise the alarm about diesel trucks rumbling through their neighbourhoods.

The transportation tussle over the use of 32 Avenue started back in 2003. The road has been a designated truck route between Highway 99 and Area East for decades. But in recent years, development has expanded along the narrow road, causing conflicts between those who use the road for a living, and those who live nearby.

Protesters say they are concerned about safety and health risks, such as carcinogenic fumes that may be emitted from diesel trucks. They also allege that Ministry of Transportation guidelines recommend houses be set back 150 metres from a diesel truck route. However, 32 Avenue homes were developed as little as ten metres from the road.

Paul Sandhu blames the City of Surrey.

“What this comes to is, this is poor planning,” said Paul Sandhu. “Why did they allow developers to build so close to the route? They’re telling us right now it’s problematic for them to move the trucks, but why didn’t they have that attitude when developers were building?”

Louise Yako with the BC Trucking Association says she understands people’s concerns, but she says there are few alternatives as 32 Avenue, 8 Avenue and Highway 10 are the only easy ways to connect to Highway 99.

“It is an important east-west link,” she said, referring to 32 Avenue. “There are not that many options for trucks.”

With files from CTV British Columbia’s Julia Foy