3 August 2001

Detour angst at harvest

FARMERS hauling grain across the Westley Bridge in Suffolk, face a 10-mile detour after the sudden introduction of a weight limit on the structure.

Patrick Fisher and his wife Kay farm land to the west of a railway line near Bury St Edmunds, but their grain store and drying facilities are on the east side, accessed via the bridge.

Last week, the council published a formal notice announcing a weight restriction on the bridge until strengthening work is carried out.

Sadly for Mr and Mrs Fisher, the order became effective on Wednesday (Aug 1) – at a time when the couple were only one-third of the way through their harvest. It means a 10-mile detour for the grain trailers.

Mrs Fisher appealed for a dispensation until the harvest is gathered in, but the council turned her plea down.

"With farming in general, and grain prices in particular, at rock bottom this could not have come at a worse time," she added. &#42