TEN lorry drivers who have flouted an HGV ban on an historic Teesdale bridge have been taken to court.

The drivers were fined hundreds of pounds after “brazenly” continuing to use the County Bridge, in Barnard Castle, which is not suitable for heavy goods vehicles.

Durham Police said since February 2017 the force has dealt with 86 offences.

Ten people were taken to court, 64 were forced to pay a fixed penalty fine and 12 cases are either ongoing or were cancelled.

Barnard Castle Neighbourhood Inspector, Edward Turner, said: “Historical road features like this are important parts of our cultural heritage.

“Weight restrictions are there for very good reasons and the County Bridge is not suitable for modern heavy goods vehicles.

“It is clear that vehicles breaking weight restrictions are a concern for the community.

“We have spoken to the transport managers of local firms to ask them to desist as prevention is key.”

If a vehicle ignores the ban, Durham County Council will send the driver a warning letter.

If the truck is detected on a second occasion, the council will notify the police who will issue a fixed penalty notice.

And if the company re-offends, the police will summons the driver straight to court, irrespective of the fact it may be the driver’s first offence.

They say this is because companies should advise their drivers of the law.

If they continue to offend then the police will summons the company directors to court.

Insp Turner added: “We are working together with the council to enforce the weight restrictions and we want to target those who ignore the rules and regulations that the vast majority of road users adhere to.

“It may be tempting for drivers to disregard such regulations for a shortcut, but it is irresponsible and by doing so they are potentially putting other road users or roads and bridges at risk.”

It is not the first time the issue has caused upset in the community.

Despite enforcement cameras in place, residents in 2014 were outraged after seeing lorry drivers continuing to cross the landmark, which is the main route through the town.