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News article created on 10 January 2014

Drivers urged to slow down

Once again we're calling for motorists to slow down when crossing 200-year old hump back bridges after yet another historic bridge was hit by a careless driver.

The accident, along the Old Stafford Road in Slade Heath, Wolverhampton, caused extensive damage to the brickwork at Bridge 72, Slade Heath Bridge which crosses over the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.

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, but thankfully, in this case, the driver left their details so most of the £20,000 repair bill will be covered by the driver’s insurance.

Small bit of history

Dean Davies, waterway 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 through careless driving. It is just such a waste.

“We work with local authorities to improve signage and road markings, but if motorists just slowed down a bit and took more care and attention then they would stop this loss of our heritage. It really isn’t rocket science – if you see a hump-back bridge then please slow down. Not only will you prevent yourself from an injury but you will also save us a great deal of expense and aggravation and, more importantly, do your bit to help preserve our wonderful waterways for the future."