Dumfries and Galloway Council will begin to restrict traffic later this week on Kirkcudbright bridge following the failure of the Vehicle Detection System and due to the weak nature of the bridge. The £20,000 project to update and upgrade the Vehicle Detection System was agreed by members of the Communities Committee on Tuesday 17 September.
The restrictions will start on Friday 4 October, when temporary traffic signals will be erected to control traffic flow on the bridge itself. The bridge across the River Dee has a weight restriction of 17 Tonnes has been in place since 1993 and the Vehicle Detection System limits only one 17 tonne vehicle at a time to use the bridge. The lights will be removed on Friday 11 October.
From Friday 11 October, there will be a 7.5 tonne limit placed on the bridge until the works are completed and the weight warning lights are in full working order. The works could take a number of weeks to complete. Alternative routes are in place to allow large vehicles to move in and around Kirkcudbright without using the bridge.
The alternative route for those driving vehicles greater than 7.5 tonnes is via the A755, A75, A762, onto the A711 and back onto the A755. Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the duration of the works.
Councillor Andy Ferguson, who Chairs the Communities Committee of Dumfries and Galloway Council stated;
“The Vehicle Detection System is designed to stop a second large vehicle progressing onto the deck while the first is still crossing, however it is currently not working. We need to carry out these works to ensure the bridge is protected and is safe for people to access the artists town. We realise this will have an impact on local businesses and the people of Kirkcudbright and would like to appeal to them to be patient with us and abide by the legislation regarding the 7.5 tonne limit.”
A full inspection of the existing Vehicle Detection System will take place next week and following this the procurement for the replacement of all or parts of the system will be progressed.
Councillor John Martin, who is Vice-Chair of Communities Committee said;
“We are aware that there is no good time for roadworks, but this work is vital to the sustainability of the Kirkcudbright bridge. This category B listed structure is over 90 years old and we must protect it and make it safe for people to use freely in and out of Kirkcudbright. Although the road traffic order to reduce the weight limit is in place until the end of the year, please be assured we will complete the works as efficiently as possible, in conjunction with our contractors.”