Saturday, 13 February 2016

Concern at HGV bridge plan

A COMMUNITY is outraged over a “ludicrous” road plan which they say would put “lives in danger”.

PLAN: The Rowe Head Bridge at Pennington which the county council wants to close to vehicles over 7.5 tonnes. Inset, farmer Andrew Woods MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50030528B000

Cumbria County Council wants to put a 7.5 tonnes weight restriction on Rowe Head Railway Bridge, in Pennington.

Network Rail has requested the council makes the order, and said the bridge is “inadequate to take full highway loading”.

But residents of Pennington and Loppergarth are angered that heavy goods vehicles – including fire engines – would be forced to use narrow and single track routes, such as at Low Greaves in Pennington and Loppergarth, if the ban was in place.

Objecting householders say the bridge should be strengthened.

They are dismayed there are no exceptions for any vehicle over the weight, which means fire engines would have to take longer routes to get to their homes.

The rural location is also frequently used by milk tankers, animal feed delivery wagons and farm vehicles.

Farmer Andrew Wood has made a sign which he has placed on the bridge with the message: “Say no to bridge closure to HGVs, there’s no other way.”

Mr Wood, of Channel House Farm, Pennington, said: “It’s absolutely ludicrous.

“It would affect the fire service, as there are no exceptions, and it would make their journey longer, it’s dangerous. Large vehicles would have to use single track roads. Only recently a wagon got stuck at Low Greaves.

“There is no alternative route for large vehicles. It will affect all of Pennington because 90 per cent of the houses will use heating oil and that is delivered in a wagon. There are the bin wagons, feed wagons and milk tankers.

“They should fix the bridge.”

Alan Myerscough, a Loppergarth farmer, and owner of Ulverston’s Ford motorcar dealership, said: “It would cause absolute chaos through all the narrow lanes. It would be a nightmare, there would be accidents. With no exceptions for fire engines lives would be put in danger.”

Plans can be viewed at Ulverston and Flookburgh post offices and Objections can be sent to The Head of Legal Practice, The Courts, Carlisle, CA3 8LZ by March 22.

Have your say

As a resident of Low Greaves, I urge Cumbria County Council to personally take a trip and assess the alternative routes that will need to be used by HGVs if the Rowe Head bridge is not open to them. What the Council will find is a route where the road is in an appalling state of repair (potholes that small animals can get lost in and the edges of the road surface collapsing into the verges); does not have the road width for even two cars to pass safely (nevermind HGVs) for much of the route and in some cases (as demonstrated with last week's incident involving the container wagon) is impassable for some of the traffic that will be diverted. I completely agree with Mr Wood and Mr Myerscough - "there is no other way" but to fix the bridge and it will be "absolute chaos" should this restriction be put in place. I am not being a NIMBY in holding this view...the alternatives to fixing the bridge are simply unsafe.

Posted by Lisa on 5 March 2012 at 19:50

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