Lorry watch group monitoring lorries in Godmanchester
- Credit: Archant
A watch group designed to stop heavy goods vehicles straying into a 7.5 tonne weight limit at Godmanchester and damaging its historic bridge has held its first session.
Cllr Sarah Conboy, who has played a key part in setting up the scheme, said there was already evidence that the number of lorries passing through the weight limited area was reducing as word spread about the action being taken.
There had been a sharp increase in he number of heavy goods vehicles crossing the bridge - a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument - since the Huntingdon bypass opened in December as part of the £1.5 billion upgrade of the A14.
There have been claims that the signposting of the new route was inadequate and that drivers were paying too much attention to satnav systems instead of reading signs and road maps.
Cllr Conboy said the new HGV Watch group was made up from volunteers and followed on from the local Speedwatch group which monitors speeding drivers.
"The message is definitely getting over that these vehicles should not be here," she said.
Cllr Conboy said information about drivers was passed on to police, with "offenders" being spotted for the third time potentially getting an embarrassing visit at work by police arriving without warning.
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"It is understandable how drivers from away could get into the weight limit area by mistake and have trouble getting out and I do have some sympathy for them, but we are also finding that some branded vehicles we have seen more than once are local and should know about the weight limits," Cllr Conboy said.
"I would like to thank the police and the Speedwatch group for their support."
Cllr Conboy said the chief concern about heavy goods vehicles going over the bridge was the potential for damaging its fragile parapet which could lead to its closure while repairs were carried out - including the blue light emergency services.
Cllr Conboy said Cambridgeshire County Council and Highways England were convinced that signage for the Huntingdon area put for the opening of the new bypass was sufficient, although there were being asked to have a further look.
She felt the issue would certainly come to an end once all of the side roads in the Huntingdon were completed at the end of the A14 project.