£3m to restore bridges in East Dunbartonshire

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East Dunbartonshire had no bridges deemed to be substandard at the end of 2021, new figures show.

But despite having no substandard bridges, East Dunbartonshire Council estimates it would cost £3 million to restore existing bridges in the area to a good condition.

The RAC Foundation said the threat of more severe weather due to climate change could lead to dangerous collapses on the UK’s highways and has urged councils to address unsuitable bridges.

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Out of 124 bridges in the area, East Dunbartonshire Council identified none that were unable to carry the heaviest vehicles regularly using highways.

General view of a road ahead closed sign, London. General view of a road ahead closed sign, London.
General view of a road ahead closed sign, London.

This included lorries up to 44 tonnes – in 2021, figures from the RAC Foundation show.

Across the UK, local authorities assessed 3,211 substandard bridges at the end of last year – up from 3,105 the year before and the highest number since2017.

It means 4.5% of bridges nationally are deemed unsuitable and it is estimated it would cost £4.2 billion to restore them.

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Bridges may be deemed substandard because they were built to earlier design standards, while others may have deteriorated through age and use.

Many are subject to weight restrictions, while others are under programmes of increased monitoring or even managed decline.

The figures also show East Dunbartonshire Council does not intend to return any of its bridges to full carrying capacity in the next five years.