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News article created on 22 April 2016

Driver damages historic Cheshire bridge

Together with Middlewich Town Council we're calling on motorists to slow down when crossing canal bridges as a recently repaired bridge has been hit again.

Over the last three years we've had to spend just over £75,000 in the north west repairing hump back bridges in these ‘hit-and-run’ accidents. Money which could be better used maintaining and looking after the region’s canals.

The latest bridge to be hit is Brooks Lane Bridge (Bridge 169) which crosses the Trent & Mersey Canal in Middlewich, Cheshire. The bridge, which dates back to the late 1700s, was struck just a few days after it had been repaired.

The Trust is working with Middlewich Town Council to raise awareness of Middlewich’s historic canal bridges and to look at options to avoid any further damage and expense.

Lost history

Gillian Renshaw, development and engagement manager at 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 damaged. It is just such a waste.

“We are working with Middlewich Town Council to monitor the traffic flow with modern CCTV so we can look at options to improve signage and road markings. Bridge 169 has been hit repeatedly and it appears that careless motorists are ignoring the one way signs. If motorists just slowed down a bit and took more care and attention then they would really help protect our heritage. It’s quite simple, if you see a hump-back bridge sign then slow down. ”