New signage at Swarkestone Causeway

16 March 2017

We're putting up new high tech signage at Swarkestone Causeway to deter overweight lorries using the ancient bridge.

The Grade 1 listed and scheduled ancient monument has a 7.5 tonne weight limit. But overweight lorries are regularly clocked crossing the bridge which straddles the River Trent, connecting the villages of Swarkestone and Stanton by Bridge.

Traffic data shows that around 40 overweight HGVs a day are using the bridge, including some that are more than twice the weight limit and some even heavier.

Weight restriction signs are already displayed on all the approach roads to the bridge.

Now we're set to put up new electronic advance warning signs on both sides of the bridge. These will advise motorists their vehicle is too large and remind them of the weight restriction.

Sensors will be laid underneath the road surface. These will detect the type of vehicle and transmit signals to the electronic signs which will flash up a message if a vehicle is unsuitable to cross the bridge.

Other nearby road signs are also due to be reviewed, to further highlight the weight restriction.

The electronic signs are due to be put up in the next few months and will be sited in advance of the bridge giving overweight vehicles the chance to choose an alternative route.

Some vehicles, for example buses, are exempt from the restriction.

Our Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Dean Collins, said:

"The bridge was built hundreds of years ago when transport was horse and cart or on foot. It was never built to carry the volume and type of traffic that it does today.

"There is already plenty of signage on all approaches to the bridge, including several miles away, warning drivers that it is unsuitable for larger vehicles. The problem is that the weight restriction is being ignored."

Councillor Collins added:

"We constantly monitor usage of the bridge but regulations and our limited resources mean we cannot have a permanent presence at the bridge. We hope these highly visible electronic signs will raise the profile of the weight restriction and deter drivers if their vehicle is unsuitable."