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Swarkestone Bridge signage effort goes to the very top

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: September 01, 2014

By Rob Smyth

27/12/12 General View - Swarkstone Bridge, Derbyshire

27/12/12 General View - Swarkstone Bridge, Derbyshire

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THE country's top politician in terms of transport is set to be contacted to try to gain support for changes to help reduce road-related problems along an historic causeway.

Councillor John Harrison, in his role as chairman of Melbourne Area Forum, is set to write to Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin in a bid to help put an end to issues related to Swarkestone Bridge,

Residents have long been asking for special signs to be placed on the nearby A50 to deter lorries from using the route.

However, the signs have never been introduced by the Highways Agency due to the anticipated cost of between £20,000 and £50,000.

A forum spokesman said: "The main reason that signs were not introduced on the A50 was due to cost.

"The traffic management required to close the nearside lane in order to safely erect the signage was very expensiv,e as were the signs themselves which would have had to be very large (due to the speed limit on the A50) and mounted on passive safety posts.

"The exact figures are not known but officers recall that the scheme cost would have been well into the tens of thousands of pounds."

As a result of this, the forum has contacted Mr McLoughlin and copied in South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler about the matter.

The causeway is classed as an ancient monument and is the subject of a 7.5-tonne weight limit to preserve its structure.

The Mail revealed last week that Derbyshire County Council could not pursue foreign drivers who have been spotted flouting restrictions along the causeway as it does not have the jurisdiction to prosecute them.

There are also funds allocated for the installation camera monitoring system along the road.

However, talks over the running of the system have resulted in the delay of it being introduced and no date is yet been set for it to come into action.

To report a vehicle flouting weight restrictions, visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk

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