We are calling for motorists to slow down when crossing 200-year old canal bridges after a historic bridge over the Chesterfield Canal was damaged by a passing vehicle.
The damage to the brick parapet, or wall, on Clayworth Greys Bridge is so significant that a section of it has been taken down and will have to be rebuilt. The driver hasn’t been identified and the repair is expected to cost up to £20,000.
Sean McGinley, our waterway manager, said: "Hump-back bridges are such an important part of the Chesterfield Canal’s character and the area’s history. 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 so carelessly damaged.
"Over the last year we’ve had to spend over £1million across the country repairing bridges hit by drivers and that’s money which could be better used maintaining and looking after the region’s canals.
"If motorists just slowed down a bit and took more care and attention then they would save themselves and us a lot of cost and aggravation, and protect the nation’s important canal heritage."
The incident is believed to have taken place in the early hours of Sunday morning (18 December) and we have been working since to inspect the damage and make the bridge safe both for motorists and people using the canal underneath. Temporary barriers have been put in place along the bridge until the full repair can be carried out, which is expected to take place early in the New Year.