Bradford Bridge, which carries West Bradford traffic across the Ribble, is once again closed to vehicles, a lorry having damaged the parapet. I understand the bridge is likely to remain closed for about a month while being repaired.
Damage to the northern end of this bridge is now a frequent occurrence, with large vehicles dislodging or scraping the coping stones every few weeks. More serious damage, necessitating road closure for repair work, now occurs several times a year. I am told factors contributing to this problem are the need for large vehicles to avoid the Waddington Road Railway Bridge in Clitheroe and satellite navigation devices offering Bradford Bridge as an alternative route.
Lancashire County Council, who are responsible for these roads and bridges, tell me they are aware of the problem, but have no solution in mind. In the meantime the inconvenience to the public and high cost to tax-payers and owners of the vehicles involved will continue.
I would suggest the county council should be doing more than bewailing the problem and accept their responsibility to find a solution. Large and highly visible signs warning of a serious bridge hazard for wide vehicles can be quickly erected and should help to put approaching drivers on their guard. For the long-term solution the council needs to decide whether it is affordable to widen or realign the northern approach to the bridge or even to rebuild the bridge a short distance upstream.
Failing either of these solutions they should introduce some restriction on the size of vehicles permitted to use the bridge.