Fines for lorry drivers who ignored bridge weight limit

TWO lorry drivers have been fined for exceeding the weight limit on an historic Ripon bridge.

They were photographed flouting the restriction on Bondgate Bridge by officers from North Yorkshire County Council’s Trading Standards.

Tried in his absence at Harrogate Magistrates Court last Friday, Michael Field, 54, of Fordgate, Holmfirth, was fined 500, with 141, after he was caught driving his 38 tonne lorry over the bridge, which has a weight restriction of only 7.5 tonnes.

Also tried was Roy Hailstone, 35, of Manor Way, Barnsley, who was spotted driving his 18 tonne brewery wagon over the bridge. He was fined 400 with 150 costs.

The bridge, which spans the River Skell, was built in 1892 and is a popular local landmark.

The charges are the latest in a series of coups for North Yorkshire County Council’s Trading Standards’ ‘Keeping us on the Move’ campaign, which has seen dozens of truckers taken to court for weight restriction offences in the past year.

County Coun John Fort, executive member with responsibility for Trading Standards, said heavy lorries driving over weak bridges posed a real problem for the county council.

“Besides the obvious safety risks, heavy lorries damage the structure of bridges and the cost of repairs has to be met by the tax payer.

“Furthermore, bridges have to be closed whilst repairs are carried out and motorists are often faced with congestion or lengthy diversions,” he said.

“Hopefully, these cases will send a stark warning to those who habitually flout weight restrictions on our bridges.”

North Yorkshire County Council spends around 500,000 a year on bridge maintenance.