Dreams of boating, worries about bridge-bashing, the age of diesel, and can we have British Waterways back?
I am sure readers will be as concerned as I about the damage caused by heavy traffic to the Grade II listed Crooklands Bridge 166 on the Lancaster Canal, near Kendal.
I have been reporting damage to this lovely old bridge for some years, and note recent damage has displaced the second course and moved the parapet top stones so much that they are now at risk of being pushed beyond the point of balance, which could result in the heavy parapet stones dropping into the canal or onto the canal towpath, risking injury to walkers.
This bridge, on a county road, was designed for horse and cart, and is clearly unable to cope with the heavy vehicles which use it to get to the weighbridge on the nearby industrial site. There is talk of extending this site by a further 19 acres, which will only bring more heavy vehicles over a listed bridge which actually needs traffic to be diverted away from it. A junction with the A590 is surely a more sensible answer. This would enable the Canal & River Trust, which must be frustrated by the need to make constant repairs to this listed bridge, to effect a more permanent repair, thus ensuring that towpath walkers are not severely injured or killed.
I am very much hoping that Cumbria County Council and the Canal & River Trust can agree that the situation is becoming increasingly dangerous and will be able to work together to remedy the situation.