£3.5m boost to make key repairs to historic bridge
Essential repairs can now be made to Bath’s historic Cleveland Bridge thanks to a £3.5m boost from the government.
B&NES Council said the funding was announced as part of a £93m drive to improve connectivity across England.
The council is among 32 local authorities that will receive investment for essential repair works to improve its infrastructure.
The 194-year-old bridge has a temporary 18-tonne weight restriction on it affecting heavy goods vehicles and larger coaches. It is being enforced by police spotchecks, says the council.
Cllr Joanna Wright, joint cabinet member for transport services, said: “I am delighted to hear that our bid for Government funding has been successful.
“We will now be able to move forward with our urgent plans to repair Cleveland Bridge by appointing a contractor and finalising details of the work, which we hope will begin in early April.
“The bridge is a strategic part of the highways network to keep traffic flowing for motorists and this funding will enable us to secure the bridge’s future.
“We would like to thank our colleagues at the West of England Combined Authority for their support in this bid.”
The restriction was put in place ahead of the essential repairs to the Grade II listed structure which are planned for later in the spring.
Surveys show some structural parts of the bridge have come to the end of their life and the weight restriction seeks to prevent further deterioration of the bridge and increased cost of repairs.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “There is nothing more frustrating than a journey delayed by poor road conditions, and this multi-million pound boost will help improve connectivity across the country.
“This investment will not only help local areas to target current pinch points on their roads, but will also harness our world-leading research and innovation capabilities to future proof the next generation of journeys.”
The council submitted its funding bid to the Government’s Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund.
Signed diversion routes, using roads suitable for large vehicles, are in place for through traffic while those vehicles needing to go into Bath city centre are directed to the city from the west using the A4.
The distance on the diversion from Bath to Warminster is 25 miles; the normal distance using the A36 is 17 miles.
The diversion would add eight miles to journeys for traffic heading to the south.
Cllr Dine Romero, Cllr Joanna Wright, Baroness Vere and Kelvin Packer, head of highways for Bath and North East Somerset Council on Cleveland Bridge