Bromley council has announced that heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and buses are to be banned from using the Chislehurst Road bridge.
The council says width restrictions will be installed allowing cars to travel in both directions again following the recent introduction of temporary traffic lights after an inspection revealed the bridge was no longer capable of carrying the 44 ton weight load of an HGV.
“We have taken these steps with great reluctance as we are acutely aware just how busy the bridge is, but we are mindful of the paramount need to protect motorists and rail users by ensuring that the bridge remains safe. By restricting the weight of the load on the bridge at any one time, this will be achieved. We will be looking urgently into how best and quickly we might be able to strengthen the bridge with partner agencies such as TfL and Network Rail, but this is a major project which could take several years to complete.” said Gareth Davies, Assistant Director for Environmental Services for Transportation Planning.
Traffic surveys are being undertaken and the data will be used to re-time the temporary traffic lights to reduce congestion at peak times. The temporary traffic lights will be replaced by width restrictions in an estimated six weeks time when the legal traffic order has been completed and the diversion signs for HGVs have been completed.
Council bosses say weekly safety surveys are now being carried out to monitor the exact condition of the bridge.