‘Basket handle’ plan to tackle bridge speeding

Plans to introduce new traffic calming measures for Cross Keys Swing Bridge, Sutton Bridge, have been backed by parish councillors. 'Photo:  SG151212-111TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
Plans to introduce new traffic calming measures for Cross Keys Swing Bridge, Sutton Bridge, have been backed by parish councillors. 'Photo: SG151212-111TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto

Complaints from Sutton Bridge residents about fast traffic in the village could soon be tackled with speed reduction plans for Cross Keys Swing Bridge.

Parish councillors have enthusiastically backed plans for a new height restriction bar or “basket handle” over the bridge, as well as new road surfacing to warn drivers to slow down.

The plans by Lincolnshire County Council for the Grade II listed bridge are expected to cost almost £37,000 but will save the council about £100,000 in repair costs caused by vibrations from HGVs.

A feasibility study related to the plans showed that on an average weekday, almost 16,000 vehicles crossed the bridge into Lincolnshire and Norfolk, including 3,300 HGVs.

Average speeds leading up to the bridge along Bridge Road, which has a 30 mph limit, were between 39mph and 54mph, with HGVs averaging between 28mph and 41mph.

An extract from papers relating to the plans said: “The recommendation is to construct a height restriction bar at the start of the bridge to impose a physical barrier, giving the appearance of reduced access.

“This type of restriction has been chosen to provide a traffic calming function so that drivers can reduce speed by applying the brakes before entering the bridge and not on the bridge.

“This will particularly target HGVs both during the day and the night as HGV drivers are very aware of height and width restrictions.”

Parish councillor Jenny Rowe said: “Anything that slows traffic down is a good idea because it’s not just HGVs, but all vehicles, that go across the bridge at great speed.”