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News article created on 11 December 2013

Careless driver leaves £30,000 repair bill

We're calling for motorists to slow down when crossing 200-year old hump back bridges following a hit-and-run car crash near the village of Broughton in Aylesbury on Monday.

The accident caused extensive damage to the brickwork at Bridge 15 on Broughton Lane, which crosses the Grand Union Canal Aylesbury Arm, leaving us facing a repair bill of at least £30,000.

Careless drivers cause over £1million of damage every year to historic canal bridges in England and Wales. In most cases these are ‘hit-and-run’ accidents, leaving us unable to recoup the cost from the driver’s insurers. This diverts vital funds away from work to conserve the nation’s canals and rivers. 


Florence Salberter, heritage adviser at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Hump-back bridges are synonymous with our wonderful canals, connecting us to our past and to a slower pace of life. Each time a bridge is hit a small bit of history is lost and 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.”

Bridge 15 has been crashed into three times and was only recently rebuilt after it was last damaged by a careless driver. Unfortunately, whoever hit the bridge hasn’t left any contact details so we can’t recoup the cost of the repair from the driver's insurance and will have the pay for the repairs.

Florence 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.”

Anyone who may have seen this accident or can provide us with any more information please call on 030 30 40 40 40 or email enquiries.southeast@canalrivertrust.org.uk