A TOWN centre road has been closed to large vehicles because it has been deemed unsafe.

Bollards have been put on Orlando Bridge, which connects Manchester Road with Orlando Street, to narrow the access route to a 6ft 6in space — stopping large vans and lorries from crossing the bridge.

Network Rail, which owns the bridge, requested that Bolton Council install the new safety measures after an inspection.

There had previously been a 7.5-tonne weight limit imposed on the bridge — but it was thought that larger vehicles were ignoring the signs and putting pressure on the weak structure.

A council spokesman said: “We appreciate that, as with any changes to the layout of a road, it can take time for some people to adapt to the changes.

"However, the bollards have been installed for safety reasons.”

Signs have been put up in Manchester Road and Thynne Street to warn motorists of the changes and further signs and road markings are due to be installed.”

Former councillor, Bill Collison, who is a retired engineer, praised the council for “making the people of Bolton safe again”.

He said: “After complaining about irresponsible drivers driving 40-tonne vehicles across Orlando Bridge and ignoring a weak bridge sign and a 7.5-tonne weight limit, something has finally been done.

“I would like to commend those involved for listening and making Bolton safer for both road and rail. These restrictions could save lives.

“Any car drivers complaining because they cannot get through the gap should not be allowed on the road because they are not good drivers.”

But Scott Bird, of Leyton Close, Farnworth, added: “How anyone can think that the placing of major obstructions in the middle of a busy road, just around a sharp corner, can help improve road safety is beyond my comprehension.”

  • On Monday, January 20, an Audi car flipped on to its side when trying to get through the bollards.

A 22-year-old has been charged with aggravating vehicle taking and vehicle damage.