Bridge signage plan to reduce traffic snarl-ups

Gordon Jack/www.jackphoto.co.uk'Canal Bridge, Linlithgow Basin - A lorry trailer was left stranded on the bridge for over an hour as the driver had to unhook his cab after getting stuck on the bridge which he also damaged.

Gordon Jack/www.jackphoto.co.uk'Canal Bridge, Linlithgow Basin - A lorry trailer was left stranded on the bridge for over an hour as the driver had to unhook his cab after getting stuck on the bridge which he also damaged.

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SIGNS will be put up on the Manse Road canal bridge after complaints that at least one lorry a week gets stuck going over.

A fortnight ago, the Journal and Gazette reported that a lorry was stuck on the 1820’s bridge for over an hour causing damage to the stonework. Last Wednesday, another lorry found itself in the same predicament.

Colin Galloway at the Linlithgow Union Canal Society said: “This must be stopped. There is a great deal of urgency as it is dangerous. Stones have been knocked off and railings knocked out by these lorries.

“Somebody needs to act now. There is one a week and that’s only the ones that we see during the working day. The lorries go down Manse Road and find they can’t get out.”

It has been suggested that lorry drivers are following satellite navigation systems, without considering the road conditions ahead, which proves a problem in towns like Linlithgow where there are narrow roads and low bridges.

But this week, West Lothian Council confirmed signs to deter long lorries will go up over the next few months.

A spokesperson said: “We have undertaken initial surveys and are preparing plans for some additional ‘unsuitable for long vehicles’ signs at the entrances to the area. We estimate that signs will be erected within the next 12 weeks.” He added that there was no requirement for a weight limit on the bridge.

The bridge is maintained by Scottish Canals. Waterway manager Alasdair Smart welcomed the news adding: “The Union Canal is a 200-year-old Scheduled Ancient Monument and this move will help us preserve and protect the waterway and the bridge which are together an important part of the heritage of Linlithgow. Reducing heavy traffic on the bridge will also, importantly, mean less money spent on repairs and improved passage for regular vehicular users.”