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Bridge: No weight restriction needed

Hertfordshire County Council says Hawkshead Lane bridge doesn’t need a weight restriction, despite evidence of cracking in the walls, the surface and the supporting pillars.

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A gap has appeared between the side of the bridge and the road

The authority’s Bridges and Contracts Unit says the damaged caused to the structure is due to a recent road traffic accident and not the weight or volume of traffic using the lane.

The humpback bridge is on the route along which traffic to the soon to be extended Royal Veterinary College is directed by signs from the M25 and A1.

Local residents have been campaigning for the traffic to be diverted and weight and width restrictions to be introduced to protect the bridge and the local environment.

A number of local residents have e-mailed this site expressing their concerns.

The damage as seen from the river side of the bridge parapet

But in a letter to one of those residents, Mr S Minton, the technical support manager for Hertfordshire County Council’s Bridges and Contracts department, says the bridge is capable of carrying up to 40 tonnes in weight.

In a letter to one local resident, the council says that an accident in January resulted in the parapet being dislodged and a crack opening up.

Bridge inspectors have visited the scene and established that no emergency action is needed. Tenders have gone out for the repair work and that work is expected to begin shortly.

The authority says there are few bridges in Hertfordshire with weight restrictions.

“Environmental weight restrictions ban lorries from using the road as a cut through, but permit access for the purpose of loading or unloading at premises on or adjacent to the road,” the letter continues.

The RVC has two sets of plans submitted for approval.

S6/2000/39/FP is for the erection of new college building incorporation learning resource centre, reception and administrative offices, new vehicle access and car parking at Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead House, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield.

S6/1999/778/FP is for the construction of large animal hospital, clinical and diagnostic centre, and rehabilitation centre with associated hay barn and new vehicular access onto Hawkshead Lane at Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Little Heath, Potters Bar.

It is understood that S6/2000/39/FP is likely to be approved on March 9, the next council planning meeting, because it is a development within the existing site but S6/1999/778/FP is likely to take longer to approve.

The council says it will accept representations right up to the date of a meeting, not just within the statutory minimum time from publication of the formal notice.

The plans are also published on the RVC website, showing the area to be developed, drawings of the scale of the development and details of the case for supporting the plan.

The North Mymms Green Belt Society's views are set out on its website

March 3, 2000

Have your say: Should the Royal Veterinary College expand into green belt land? Have Your Say

Recent news:
Hawkshead Lane bridge begins to crack - February 27, 2000
Vet college: assurances demanded - February 14, 2000
Bypass: society urged to consult locals - February 6, 2000
Local resident's e-mail opposing bypass plan - February 6, 2000

NMGBS's e-mail supporting bypass plan - February 4, 2000
Green Belt Society backs bypass
- February 4, 2000
Anger over bypass plan
- February 1, 2000
Hawkshead Lane bypass bid - January 30, 2000
Vet college expansion plans submitted - January 26, 2000
Green belt vets expansion plan - Dec 10, 1999
Vet College expansion opposed - Nov 13, 1999
Vet College plans to expand - Sept 29, 1999
Golf club 'rumours' spark green belt fears - July 27, 1999
Golf club housing plan opposed - July
6, 1999


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