MP's 'disastrous' idea

January 26 2021

BATH’S MP has come under fire after suggesting that lorries should be diverted away from the city to the A420 when travelling to Bristol and beyond.

Wera Hobhouse is campaigning to “redirect east-west traffic from the A4 and Bristol to the A420 north of the city” to protect Bath’s Cleveland Bridge.

But South Gloucestershire councillors for Wick and Warmley say she has not consulted them over the idea, which they believe would flood  the area with traffic and cause pollution.

Parkwall and Warmley, Councillor Elizabeth Bromiley, said: “It is truly disappointing that the Lib Dem MP for Bath would consider such a disastrous scheme to be worthwhile, given the impact it would have on nearby rural communities. Our villages already have to deal with high levels of HGVs travelling along the A420 and this would make the problem totally unsustainable.”

Boyd Valley Councillor Ben Stokessaid Ms Hobhouse’s campaign was blinkered.

Nearly 1,300 people have signed the MP's petition to direct vehicles of 18 tonnes or over away from the bridge, a Grade II* listed structure.

The bridge is subject to a  temporary weight restriction until £3.9m repairs are carried out. Ms Hobhouse wants this curb to be permanent. She told an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on November 17:  “The weight of modern HGVs is shaking the bridge to bits.”

Transport minister Rachael Maclean said the West of England Combined Authority considers Cleveland Bridge as a key structure in the region, but any further restrictions would harm the economy.