Suffolk County Council has recently completed a structural assessment of Bridge Farm Bridge on the A1088 north of Stowlangtoft. The assessment has indicated that the bridge is unable to carry full highway loading safely and has concluded that a 7.5T Structural Weight Restriction needs to be applied to protect the structure and ensure the safety of highway users, pending reconstruction of the bridge.
As an initial measure temporary traffic signals were erected to restrict traffic to a single lane over the bridge as an interim measure before the structural weight restriction could be implemented. The traffic signals were a short-term measure to provide a level of protection to the weak bridge, and enable the road to remain open pending the introduction of the 7.5T structural weight restriction, which will provide a higher level of protection more appropriate for the longer-term and enable the temporary traffic signals to be removed. The 7.5T structural weight restriction is now in place and advance signing has been placed on the approaches both North and South of the restriction to advise drivers. There are no exemptions to this structural weight restriction for vehicles over 7.5T.
It has been agreed that the exemption permit scheme for the existing environmental weight limit that is in place along the A1088 between Ixworth and the A14 will remain, to allow wider use of the A1088 outside of the structural weight restriction at the bridge. However, the permit does not grant any holder an exemption to the structural weight restriction at the bridge, and any highway users in a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 7.5T will need to use the signed alternative lorry routes that avoid crossing the bridge.
Suffolk County Council will have the right to revoke any active permits if the holder has been reported to have intentionally breached the structural weight restriction.
To confirm, vehicles travelling with a gross vehicle weight of over 7.5T will still be permitted to use the A1088 either side of the bridge, provided that they have an exemption permit, but there will be no exemptions to allow use of the structurally restricted bridge.
Plan 1 (PDF, 193KB)
Plan 2 (PDF, 306KB)
Further information regarding the Next steps and FAQ’s are outlined below and will be updated as further information becomes available.