Weight limit will bring ‘gridlock’

Peter Peel. Joanna Butterworth, Jerry Hutton, Emma Baker, ,Tony Robinson
Peter Peel. Joanna Butterworth, Jerry Hutton, Emma Baker, ,Tony Robinson

A town councillor has said Oundle will be brought to a standstill when heavy vehicles are banned from going over a busy bridge into the town.

Oundle Town councillor Peter Peel said the new restrictions on the north bridge – which leads traffic into the town from the A605 – will bring gridlock to the town as lorries and buses are re-routed.

The three-tonne weight restriction has been implemented by cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council, who said it was vital to protect the historic bridge – and they cannot afford the repair bill.

Cllr Peel said: “This is the main artery into Oundle. Not allowing lorries and other vehicles in will cause chaos. All the lorries come this way at the moment, to deliver to Waitrose, Co-op, petrol stations .

“They will all have to go through the south side through the town centre. The roads are all full with cars as it is. There will be gridlock.

“We have been told work needs doing, but no dates when it will be started– only that the council can’t afford to do it. We think the weight restriction should be lifted until the work can be started.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “Oundle north bridge was assessed, to determine its load carrying capacity, in October 2014. This concluded that 7 of the 13 arches of the Listed Grade II structure were deficient in their loading capacity and since then the structure has been monitored. Following on from this a feasibility study was recently carried out to investigate options for its strengthening and refurbishment. The approximate cost of carrying out the strengthening works is about £750,000. However given the current financial climate the funding is not available.”