The accident, which happened on Wednesday, 20 Feb, shattered the stone parapet of Bridge 122, ‘The Fro', that crosses the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, leaving us facing a £15,000 repair bill.
Careless drivers cause over £1million of damage every year to historic canal bridges in Wales and England. In most cases these are ‘hit-and-run' accidents, leaving us unable to recoup our cost from driver's insurers, and diverting vital funds away from work to conserve the nation's canals and rivers.
David Viner, heritage adviser at Glandwr Cymru (the Canal & River Trust), said: “Hump-back bridges are synonymous with our wonderful 18th century canals, connecting us to our past and to a slower pace of life. It is heart-breaking for us to spend so much time and money caring for these amazing structures just to see them smashed to pieces because some drivers won't slow down. It is just such a waste.
The Fro Bridge has been crashed into seven or eight times in recent memory because of careless drivers. In this instance we were lucky to get the vehicle's details from the police and will be seeking to recoup the costs of the repairs through the driver's insurance. Too often though this isn't the case, leaving us with sizable bills.
David added: “We work with local authorities to improve signage and road markings, but frankly, if motorists just slowed down a bit and took more care and attention then they would stop this vandalism of our heritage. It really isn't rocket science – if you see a hump-back bridge then slow down. You will save yourself and us a great deal of expense and aggravation and, more importantly, do your bit to help preserve our wonderful waterways for the future.”