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Weight restrictions on Halling bridge

Date: 11/01/2008           Category: Highways Traffic and Parking

Heavy vehicles are to be banned from a Halling bridge while new safety measures are designed. Medway Council is introducing a 7.5 tonne weight limit on the Network Rail bridge at the northern end of the village from Sunday 3 February. The restrictions will last for three months while experts plan long-term safety measures. This will involve narrowing the road over the bridge and installing traffic lights that will allow alternate one-way traffic across it. The council has taken the decision because of safety fears concerning the footway over the bridge. While the carriageway itself has a limit of 17 tonnes, the footway can only take 7.5 tonnes. Because the bridge, which crosses the Strood to Maidstone line, is narrow and approached at a difficult angle, there is a danger that large vehicles could be forced onto the footway, over-stressing it beyond the safe limit. The longer-term changes will prevent this happening. Vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes will still be able to reach Halling using the other bridge at the southern end of the village while the restrictions are in place, and fire engines will still have emergency access over the bridge. Refuse freighters no longer use the bridge and bus operators have confirmed that although in some cases they may have to use smaller buses, most services will continue as normal.