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Derelict bridge fears

Posted on October 03 2016 at 9:59:39

Rotting bridge

Village canal enthusiasts have raised concerns over the safety of a derelict bridge in Alvechurch.

Members of The Worcester-Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society (WBDCS) have urged The Canals and Rivers Trust (CRT) to remove Bridge 64A over the “dead arm” of the canal.

“Although the bridge is blocked off, children have been seen messing about and trying to climb on it,” says WBDCS member David Wheeler.

Nick Worthington of CRT replied: “We are fully aware of the condition of the bridge, which we still inspect on a monthly basis.

“We installed barriers to prevent public access, but the brick parapet has been vandalised, and we plan to complete remedial works by the end of this year – but I will push for this to be completed sooner.

“Longer term, it is unlikely that the bridge will be demolished in the current five-year major works plans.”

Andy Humphries, Chair of Alvechurch Parish Council, told a meeting: “Five years ago I had a meeting with British Waterways and they agreed to put it in their capital programme.

“There is a fibre optic cable running under the bridge, which would have to be disconnected and reconnected, and the cost would probably be as much as the demolition – but we don’t want to see a child falling off the bridge.”

Mr Wheeler added: “CRT seem to be short-sighted by spending money on ‘remedial’ work. It’s like throwing money down a black hole.”

Above: The rotting bridge, which was constructed in 1985 when the canal was re-routed to allow the building of the M42.

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