East Lancs bridge repairs wait 10 months

Thursday 12th August 2010

By Peter Magill » Burnley chief reporter

A VILLAGE bridge set to be a gateway to one of East Lancashire’s largest employment sites has been awaiting repairs for more than 10 months.

Road engineers cordoned off part of the Manchester Road bridge, over the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Hapton, last November after it was hit by a car.

But nearly a year on, residents and the parish council remain baffled as to why the route is still reduced to a single lane.

And the parish council chairman Christine Pucket-Gouldin says there have have been several near-misses as the lights frequently fail.

She said: “Earlier this year Burnley council’s development control committee, in its wisdom, decided to allow the Burnley Bridge Business Park.

“But this was without the need for the motorway bridge off the M65, so all of the heavy plant will be coming along Manchester Road and across this bridge.”

The parish council has been in contact with Lancashire County Council, responsible for highways, and British Waterways, which looks after the canal network, without success.

Villager Blanche Cornwell said: “In November the canal bridge was damaged and there have been traffic lights controlling the traffic flow on the bridge ever since.

As it is now August, how long is it going to be before the bridge is repaired? There does not appear to be any action to improve the situation.”

The parish council has also been lobbying the waterways watchdog for the past 18 months after part of the towpath under the bridge also collapsed.

“It is very difficult taking a buggy down there and cyclists are very much in danger,” added Coun Pucket-Gouldin.

Land at the former Hepworth’s site, further along Manchester Road, is set to be transformed into an industrial and leisure complex offering 1,600 jobs.

Duncan Reeve, the county council’s public realm manager, said: “We’ve been negotiating with British Waterways, who are responsible for the bridge, to get the repairs done so as to minimise any disruptions to members of the public.

“We understand that the work is currently out to tender and people should see some progress soon.”

A British Waterways spokesman said that, unfortunately, a number of canal bridges fell victim to damage by ‘inconsiderate’ motorists, who could not be pursued for compensation, leaving the agency with considerable repair bills.

via East Lancs bridge repairs wait 10 months (From Lancashire Telegraph).

1 comment to East Lancs bridge repairs wait 10 months

  • This is a good example of how local authorities expect BW to repair a bridge that was probably damaged by one of their local residents.

    Why should this be? BW have statutory responsibility to keep the navigation open and this benefits local residents by bringing trade from visiting boaters. Along comes a careless driver and damages the bridge and BW is expected to carry the cost of repairs. That just doesn't seem right to me.

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