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Bridges

We are responsible for the safety of all public highway bridges within Wiltshire.We undertake an ongoing programme so that all bridges are inspected every two years.
The inspection process records the condition of the bridge and assists in prioritising repairs to be carried out as part of the routine maintenance programme. All incidents of damage, vehicle collision, storm damage or other causes are investigated

Wiltshire is a rural, inland county with many main rivers, tributaries, and smaller watercourses, together with the Kennet and Avon Canal and several main-line railways.

As well as a substantial number of both modern reinforced concrete and steel bridges, there are eight scheduled ancient monuments and 142 listed bridges of historic or architectural importance.

Not all bridges are owned and maintained by Wiltshire council.

  • Bridges located on the Kennet and Avon Canal are owned and maintained by the Canal & river Trust
  • Bridges over and under railway lines are owned by Network Rail
  • All structures situated on motorways and trunk roads (M4, A419, A420, A36, A303 in Wiltshire) are maintained by the Highways England
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  • The highway structures for the county are vital components of Wiltshire’s road system and it is the responsibility of the Bridge Management Team to ensure that they remain safe for all highway users
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Please contact us to report any faults or damage to a highway bridge or structure providing as much information as possible about the nature and cause of the problem.

  • The bridge name (if known) and its location
  • The road or street it is on
  • The nature of the problem
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  • The Highway Authority is responsible for the safety of its bridges and therefore a comprehensive inspection programme is undertaken on a regular cycle
  • The inspection process records the condition of the bridge and assists in prioritising repairs to be carried out as part of the routine maintenance programme
  • All incidents of damage through vehicle collision, storm damage or other causes are investigated as soon as possible
  • The Bridge Management Team also advise and assist the Rights of Way wardens with the maintenance and replacement of bridges on public footpaths, bridleways and byways


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  • We are responsible for the strengthening of all highway bridges within Wiltshire
  • On 1 January 1999 the maximum allowable vehicle weight increased from 38 to 41 tonnes and the maximum allowable axle weight from 10.5 to 11.5 tonnes.  Bridges built in previous  centuries are being expected to support loads far in excess of what was envisaged at the time of their construction
  • Over the last few years, all Wiltshire's bridges with a span exceeding 1.5 metres have been assessed to establish their ability to carry 40/44 tonne vehicles
  • A programme for strengthening or replacing those that did not meet the requirements is underway, with bridges on principal roads being strengthened first.  Bridges waiting in the list are monitored to detect any deterioration in their condition
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  • Within Wiltshire there are eight bridges recorded as scheduled ancient monuments and 142 listed structures of historic or architectural importance
  • In order to comply with the appropriate legislation when maintenance work is required, Ancient Monument Consent from The Secretary of State, or Listed Building Consent must be obtained
  • The council generally has to guarantee that “like for like” compatible materials and traditional techniques are used. A small stock of stone and bricks for this purpose is kept and suitable materials are salvaged and recycled whenever possible
  • The heritage of the bridge must also be considered when conflict occurs with regard to current Health and Safety regulations
  • Many listed structures have very low and traditional parapets which do not achieve modern desirable standards, Crane Bridge in Salisbury and Milford Mill Bridge in Laverstock being two examples where ancient and modern conflict
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  • In Wiltshire there are a number of bridges with weight or height restrictions which may inconvenience hauliers when delivering or travelling in the county
  • The council endeavours to keep these restrictions to a minimum however it is not always possible to avoid placing temporary or permanent restrictions on the roads

For more information visit Freight Gateway Wiltshire

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Last updated: 6 April 2017 | Last reviewed: 6 April 2017