To date, 870 people have signed an online petition calling for the temporary 18-ton weight limit on heavy goods vehicles crossing Cleveland Bridge to be made permanent.
The restriction has been introduced to safeguard the Grade 11* listed structure while B&NES seeks funds for major refurbishment and strengthening work to be carried out – which could involve closing the bridge to ALL traffic.
The bridge was built in 1826 as a series of cast-iron arches – on Bath stone abutments – and constructed for horse-drawn vehicles and pedestrians. It has since been strengthened twice and currently has been bearing the weight of 17,000 vehicles daily – including 600 vehicles weighing more than 18 tons.
Despite warnings about the restrictions on local motorways, A-roads and at the entry points to Bath, there are still HGV’s ignoring the ban – despite the police varying the times of a daily watch on the bridge.
However, overall the effect on the road through Bathwick has been amazing with a marked reduction in traffic. It’s why local councillor Mana Rigby – who started the petition – wants the ban made permanent.
Meanwhile, seems the local authority forgot to tell the people who live on the bridge about the forthcoming restrictions and refurbishment work.
Alison Peach lives at number 4 Cleveland Bridge with her partner Peter.
The first they heard about what was happening was when they read about it in the local paper.
The bridge was constructed with four Greek Doric column fronted stone lodges which descend in floors to the river level.
I talked to Alison and asked her first about the effect of the weight restriction on passing traffic.
Alison is also concerned about the effect the work might have on local wildlife. She has been told that bats are roosting within the spans.
Meanwhile, with her new wildlife camera – she has captured footage of otters coming ashore next to her riverbank home. They have also seen water voles in the area.
Thanks for letting us use the footage on Bath Newseum.
You can find the on-line petition via https://www.bathneslibdems.org.uk/cleveland_bridge_weight_restriction
Meanwhile a response to Alison’s criticisms from B&NES. Councillor Neil Butters, joint cabinet member for Transport Services, said: “We appreciate that residents have concerns about the essential works to Cleveland Bridge and we hope we will hear about the result of our funding bid soon, so that we are in a position to share more information.
We are also in the process of appointing a contractor who will work with the council and residents on those specific issues of concern.”