Thursday, 8 January 2015

Crooklands Bridge repairs: “Once more unto the breach”

Crooklands Bridge. Photo courtesy Frank Sanderson

Crooklands Bridge, a bridge over Lancaster Canal near Kendal, has a closure order for eight days to accommodate major repairs. However, two men, one from Bradford, and one from Leicester, have proved that British workmen can prove their worth, for, they say, they will “finish the job today” and it should be open to traffic, at least light traffic, tonight, which is only the second day of closure.

The Canal and River Trust, the charitable trust that was set up to look after the waterways of England and Wales after the Government closed British Waterways in 2012, own the bridge on the community's behalf, and the cost of repeated damage by heavy and long wheelbase vehicles, is excessive.

Suggestions that crash barriers are erected seem to have been lost in Highways administration pigeon holes somewhere, and the existing road markings and directions are not sufficient to stop the constant damage.

Whilst the closure has been properly publicised, there has been no notices from the Milnethorpe side, and several massive vehicles from the mainline site (Ex Libbies) have had to reverse long distances before they could turn round.

"The bridge is of great importance to the local rural community," says Frank Sanderson of Lancaster Canal Trust, which aims to restore, and reopen to navigation, the length of the canal from Tewitfield, just north of Carnforth, to Kendal.

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