Bridge bashes cost £1m

Canal Boat - - News -

ROAD VE­HI­CLES STRIK­ING canal bridges are cost­ing the Canal & River Trust £1m per year – and the Trust is urg­ing driv­ers to slow down af­ter yet an­other ‘bridge bash’ in De­cem­ber left it with a re­pair bill and “a small bit of his­tory lost”.

The dam­age to the Ch­ester­field Canal’s tra­di­tional 18th Cen­tury hump-backed Clay­worth Bridge was suf­fi­ciently bad that CRT’s en­gi­neers have had to take down the para­pet for re­build­ing, at a cost of £20,000 – and with the driver hav­ing struck the bridge at dead of night and dis­ap­peared, it will come from CRT funds. The £20,000 isn’t a huge amount com­pared to CRT’s main­te­nance bud­get, but the sheer num­ber of such cases means that the Trust has spent more than £1m in the last year on re­pair­ing bridges dam­aged by mo­torists.

Not only would this money be bet­ter used on main­tain­ing the canals, but as the Trust’s Sean McGin­ley put it, “it’s heart-break­ing to spend so much time and money car­ing for these amaz­ing struc­tures just to see them so care­lessly dam­aged”.

…OR IN THIS case, com­ing back from the dogs. In­stead of its usual Jan­uary con­voy cruise down the Thames tide­way to the Royal Docks for the Lon­don Boat Show, St Pan­cras Cruis­ing Club turned right out of Bow Creek and headed up­stream to en­ter the West In­dia Docks on the Isle of Dogs. The re­turn cruise is pic­tured, with the flotilla dwarfed by the City and en­trance lock as they pre­pared to en­ter the tide­way.

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