A PETITION has been launched to protect a historic bridge from continuing damage caused by HGV traffic.

More than 300 people have already signed the petition, which was launched on Saturday, calling for action to protect Milford Mill Bridge.

The petition is calling for weight restrictions to be cut from 7.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes and for these restrictions to be enforced. It is also seeking an extension of the 20mph limit to the east of the bridge.

It comes after the bridge, which dates from the late 15th Century, was damaged last week.

David Lovibond, who has helped set up the petition, said: “When I saw the damage which just one lorry had done I realised time is finite, action is important this day.”

He says the weight restrictions are “widely ignored” and after speaking with residents in the area he found out the damage to the bridge was a “common occurrence”

“This is a Grade I listed bridge, which has the same designation as the Tower of London or Stonehenge. It is of national importance,” said Mr Lovibond.

“In Salisbury there are 37 Grade I listed structures and buildings of this importance and we all love them.

“People in Salisbury take them for granted but the trouble with taking things for granted is you think they will never disappear or never be damaged.

“When these vital links are destroyed, or damaged, then something important is lost.

“That is why it is crucially important to do all that we possibly can to protect these vital signs of belonging, which reinforces our sense of place.”

The petition is calling on Wiltshire Police and the police and crime commissioner Angus Macpherson, and Councillor Bridget Wayman, the Wiltshire Council Cabinet member for Highways, to help protect the bridge.

To sign the petition go to ipetitions.com/petition/save-historic-milford-mill-bridge