Emergency services in Bath and North East Somerset have said the closure of the Cleveland Bridge is not expected to affect their response time.
The bridge, one of the main access routes into the city, is closed for repair from today (Monday August 9) to August 23 and again from September 13 to September 16.
Delicate repair work is underway on the Grade II * listed bridge after contractors discovered more damage than expected during investigations.
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Avon and Somerset Police, the South West Ambulance Service and the Avon Fire and Rescue Service each said they have plans in place to mitigate any impact caused by the closure.
Pedestrians and cyclists can use the bridge, but cyclists will have to dismount.
The work of the Grade II * classified structure, which transports 17,000 vehicles per day, is necessary to preserve its future.
Each repair has been evaluated to decide how the work will be carried out. These include structural repairs that require extreme care and therefore a limited number can be done at any time.
A police spokesperson said: “We do not anticipate that there will be any impact on response times as the shutdown will be factored into incident attribution and deployments.”
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Avon Fire and Rescue has confirmed that they will take alternate routes for each emergency as “efficiently” as possible.
They said: âWhile repairs are being carried out on the Cleveland Bridge, to the extent possible, the bridge will remain accessible to all emergency service vehicles, including our fire trucks.
âThere are times when the bridge needs to be closed to all traffic, to ensure that vital repair work can take place. In this situation, our firefighters will take alternative routes to reach people in an emergency as efficiently and effectively as possible.
âWe would like to reassure local residents that when our access to the bridge may be affected, plans are in place to ensure we can respond to emergencies. We are committed to ensuring that our response remains effective in ensuring the safety of local residents. “
The Southwest Ambulance Service said it did not anticipate the closure would affect its response time despite being close to its post in the area, as it often has ambulances stationed in the city.
A spokesperson said: âWe are aware of the upcoming temporary closure of the Cleveland Bridge in Bath for structural repairs and do not expect this to have a significant impact on our service to patients in the area.
âAlthough the bridge is close to our ambulance station in Bath, our local teams often respond to emergencies from strategically located waiting points across the city rather than from the station itself.
âWe face changes in transportation routes every day, caused by planned activities and traffic incidents. We are normally informed of planning requests through the competent authority consultation process, which allows us to plan alternative routes accordingly.
âDuring this continued period of very high demand on our service, we continue to work incredibly hard to be there for the people in Bath South West who need us the most.
“Please call 999 only in an actual life-threatening emergency, and do not call back for an arrival time. For other medical issues, people should contact NHS 111 for advice and assistance. ‘help.”
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