§ Ms Glenda Jackson
Bridge closures and weight-limits are decided by the highway authority in each case following risk assessment procedures published by the Highways Agency last year. We have no central record of the numbers of temporary closures and weight limits imposed by local highway authorities pending strengthening of structures.42W
However, the Directive does allow authorities to place permanent weight restrictions on structures where strengthening is not regarded as necessary on the basis of strategic importance for HGVs. The Transport Policies and Programmes submitted in July 1998 suggest that some 1,000 permanent weight restrictions have been placed as a result of the bridge assessment programme. These are largely on minor roads.
Pending completion of the strengthening programme for Highways Agency bridges, 2 bridges carrying trunk roads or important routes over trunk roads have been temporarily closed and 6 are weight limited.