Bridge bashes cost £1m
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.