News article created on 23 June 2015

Please slow down when you're crossing our bridges

Once again we're asking motorists in the West Midlands to slow down when crossing 200-year old canal bridges as another historic bridge has been hit.

Over the last year we have had to spend just over £75,000 repairing hump back bridges in these ‘hit-and-run’ accidents. Money which could be better used maintaining and looking after the regions canals.

The latest bridge to be hit is Otherton Lane Bridge (Bridge 81) which crosses the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal near the village of Gailey in Staffordshire. The repair is expected to cost £25,000 as the brick parapet is badly damaged and will need to be taken down and completely rebuilt.

History is lost

Ian Lane, 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. 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 really help protect our heritage.

"It’s quite simple, 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.”