Bath loses fight to ban lorries from Cleveland Bridge

A proposed ban on heavy lorries using the Grade II-listed Cleveland Bridge in Bath has been overturned by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Bath and North East Somerset Council wanted the A36 taken out of the national road network so it could impose an 18-tonne weight limit.

Councillors in Wiltshire and Somerset and the Highways Agency appealed saying traffic would move onto local roads.

The DfT upheld the appeal saying an alternative scheme had to be found.

'Surprise dead-end'

At present, lorries use the city as a short cut from junction 18 of the M4 - along London Road and Cleveland Bridge - en route to the south coast.

Under the proposals a turning restriction would be implemented on HGVs, at the corner of Bathwick Street and Beckford Road.

But Wiltshire and Somerset councils together with the Highways Agency objected to the plan, claiming the proposal had "not followed the required process by securing agreement from other affected local authorities".

Earlier the DfT upheld the appeal against Banes and told the authority it must work with Wiltshire and Somerset councils to "identify an alternative scheme that will be acceptable to all parties".

A spokesman for the DfT said: "The suggested turning ban would turn Bath into a surprise dead-end for hundreds of lorries.

"Unless the proposals include proper through-routes for all types of traffic, they will have serious costs for local businesses and surrounding communities.

"Therefore we have asked Bath & North East Somerset council to work with its neighbours to find a better alternative."

Liberal Democrat Councillor Roger Symonds, from Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: "We will do what the DfT has asked us to do - we will talk to Wiltshire and Somerset and the Highways Agency and see where we can go.

"But we have already done that and they have been pretty intransigent so I don't hold out much hope but we are very willing to talk."

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