Lorry hits West Bradford bridge

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VILLAGERS fear yet another road closure is on the way after a lorry damaged the bridge over the River Ribble at West Bradford.

An empty low-loader heading towards West Bradford village struck the bridge, dislodging masonry down to the road level.

West Bradford resident Mr Robert Kay, who saw the incident, said: “It was going round the bend at the end of the bridge, and the back end scraped against the side.

“It’s moved a section of wall about 10 to 15 feet long. It only needs another truck to hit it and the whole lot will go. I took down the lorry’s number and I’ve passed it on to the county council.”

Bradford Bridge has been repeatedly damaged by trucks attempting to negotiate the tight bend on the village side. It was closed for three weeks before Christmas for major reconstruction work on the parapet, hitting businesses and creating detours of several miles for drivers.

Parish councillors have had a meeting with representatives of Ribble Valley Council and Lancashire County Council to discuss how to tackle the problem.

Former Ribble Valley councillor Mr Edwin Gretton, of West Bradford, says the only solution is to widen the road and make the bend less tight.

He said: “It would only need widening by two or three feet on the bend, and I think it could be done relatively easily. This is the county council’s responsibility and no-one else’s.”

David Leung, bridges design manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “We have already been working closely with the parish council to look into options that could improve the situation.

“The first phase of these measures will be extra signage warning HGVs to take care when driving across the bridge. The signs should be installed in the next six weeks.

“We will work to repair the parapet as quickly as possible and keep disruption to a minimum.”