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Weight restriction for North Bridge in Oundle is approved by Northamptonshire County Council

A three tonne weight restriction is set to be introduced on a town bridge to prevent further damage to the Grade II listed structure.

The decision has been made to protect North Bridge in Oundle following concerns about its condition.

The restrictions will be enforced by introducing a width restriction of 2.1 metres at either end of the bridge and installing warning signs from both directions.

A similar system is used on South Bridge in the town.

Northamptonshire County Council will use around £1.3million of government funding to pay for the work.

Councillor Ian Morris (Con), who is responsible for transport and highways, said: “The condition of the structure is deteriorating and whilst there is not an immediate risk of collapse, which would result in a full closure, action does need to be taken in the short term to prevent more damage.

“We also need to reduce the amount of traffic using the bridge when we undertake the works otherwise we would need to close the bridge.

“We’re delighted that this money has been made available from central government for the repairs and we are now working as swiftly as we can to find a suitable design and carry out the works.”

Work has begun to install weight restriction signs this week. Further work to create the width restrictions and install traffic lights will start on February 18 and is expected to take up to six weeks.

The restrictions on North Bridge will only apply to vehicles in excess of three tonnes. Car and motorcycle traffic will not be affected.

The three tonne restriction will allow two-way car traffic to continue over the bridge, which isn't currently possible when a lorry is crossing it.

It is hoped this will reduce congestion and delays in the area.

The council has also agreed to temporarily revoke the existing 18 tonne weight limit on South Bridge in Oundle to allow lorries to travel through the town.

The funding is part of £6.7million from the Department for Transport for pothole repairs and highways schemes.

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