Bridges and structures

Maintaining our roads and pavements

Bridges and structures

What we manage

In Surrey, there are over 2,500 bridges and structures carrying or crossing county roads, footpaths, bridleways or byways. Surrey County Council manage roughly 1,800 of these. The rest are the responsibility of others, including Network Rail and Highways England.

To find out where there are signed restricted bridges in Surrey, select 'Restricted Bridges' (under Roads and Transport) on the Surrey Interactive Map.

Major works to highway structures are detailed on our roadworks map.

Report a problem with a bridge

If the issue is a hazard to public safety

Please call our Contact Centre on 0300 200 1003.

If the problem is non-urgent or you have an enquiry about a bridge

Please use the online reporting form.

If it is problem with a railway bridge

You will find a telephone number on a plaque on the bridge structure. Call that number immediately to contact the rail company urgently.

Types of bridges

Weight restricted bridges

Some of Surrey's bridges are weak and protected by structural weight limits to ensure no damage is caused to them. A structural weight limit (a round sign with a weight limit only) is a mandatory limit meaning vehicles whose plated weight is over the limit must not be driven over the bridge. These are based on plated vehicle weights and the vehicle is banned even if empty.

Bridges can also be restricted by environmental weight limits, applied either to the road on which the bridge lies or to the bridge itself. An environmental weight limit (a weight shown on a lorry on a round sign) is also a mandatory limit, meaning vehicles over the weight limit must not be driven over the bridge unless they are specifically exempt (often stated in the text plate below the sign).

These restrictions are usually to discourage heavy goods vehicles from using the route as a through route. This is either for a social or environmental reason, or because the road is unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles.

Width restricted bridges

Some bridges have width restrictions. These are either due to the physical size of the bridge, or they are used with a weight restriction to ensure that vehicles of a certain size are unable to use the bridge.

Height restricted bridges

Bridges, including sign and pipe gantries restrict the available headroom over roads. Only bridges with less than 5.03m (16ft 6in) minimum actual clearance over the carriageway are signed. The signed height denotes the maximum vehicle or load height which can safely travel under the bridge.

On arch bridges, vehicles up to the signed height can safely travel under the bridge on the section of the road which is indicated by the white chord lines on the bridge.

Preventing bridge strikes

Guidance leaflets on how to prevent bridge strikes, designed for commercial drivers and other relevant organisations and businesses, can be found on the government's website.

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