Bridge fears false?
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POSSIBILITY of further lorry jilt restrictions being imxi on bridges when the 38te lorry is introduced next looks unlikely, although; fly councils will have to as; the situation closely during next few months, writes TIM IB.
though the Association of nty Councils estimated that repair bill for county bridges ruse of overloaded lorries the general amount of lorry ic will be £100m (CM, Deber 4) few of the county ncils have plans to divert ic away from the bridges. spokesman for Hereford and .cester County Council told "I cannot see any more resions as a result of the 38le vehicle. If you ban them main road bridges, then problem goes elsewhere — can only result in havoc." difficulty that some councils• face is the longand short n bridge. Hampshire exned that long bridges with a• led length of 75m or over will Rider a greater strain when 38-tonne vehicles are on it
n when two 32.5-tonne Ides are on it. This extra in would be on the structure le middle of the bridge.
le short bridge, with a span .6m or less, will be affected he three-axle configuration he trailer. The concentration weight on these axles is ler than on the present 32.5ne vehicles, a Council kesman explained.
le Department of Transport be issuing guidelines on the rt and long span bridge at a r date. The short-span bridge Dvered by the Department's inical memorandum BE 3/73. now being revised and up dated and will be given to local authorities in the Spring. There should, however, be no major problems with this type of 'bridge.
The long-span bridge should have been built to take the 38tonne vehicle but guidelines will be sent out at a later date, a DTp spokesman explained.
Bedfordshire County Council said that many of the bridges in the county already carried some form of weight restriction. "But we will not be introducing any more when the heavier vehicle comes in," a Council spokesman said. "There could be problems with small-span bridges, but it is too early to say."
A spokesman for Durham County Council said: "The situation will remain unchanged. We monitor the bridges as often as possible and make any alterations that need doing. No restrictions have been planned yet."
Buckinghamshire said that it already • had maximum weight restrictions on "suspect bridges", some being as low as five and 10 tonnes. "But there should be no further restrictions on bridges that have no limits," a spokesman pointed out.
Many county councils had not really assessed the prospect of the 38-tonne lorry but were waiting to hear from the DTp. Essex said: "We are not anticipating any increase in the number of bridge restrictions. However, the Government is producing an assessment on bridges and this will give us some guidance".
Cornwall, South Yorkshire and Lancashire were in the same position, although a spokesman for Lancashire added that some bridges in the county had only just been approved for carrying the 32.5-tonne vehicle and so these would have to be looked at closely, if they were to carry the 38-tonne lorry.