It was reported on 18 September that HGVs are regularly defying weight restrictions on an 13th century bridge over the Thames. The bridge is on the A415 Witney to Abingdon Road at the ironically-named Newbridge (well, it must have been new once, like the New Forest). It is subject to an 18-tonne weight restriction and an automatic number plate recognition camera was installed two years ago. Since then more than 1,300 lorries have been clocked crossing it illegally. (To put that in perspective, that’s around 1.7 per day or five every three days). OCC says that £30,000 in fines has been paid since the camera was put there. Trading standards officers have brought 88 successful prosecutions, 847 warning letters have been sent and “hundreds” more breaches are under investigation. Judith Heathcoat, OCC’s deputy leader, said “The county council is committed to protecting this historic bridge, but prosecuting more and more drivers is in nobody’s interest.” (Why not, we hear you ask).
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