Repairs to listed Shropshire bridge could cost charity £30,000 after damage by driver
A listed bridge that was damaged by a motorist and has been shut since late November could be inaccessible for another four months.
Bridge 65 on the Shropshire Union Canal, carrying Maer Lane in Market Drayton, is closed for safety reasons after one of its walls was smashed in the early hours of November 30.
Now the Canal & River Trust has said that it will have to pay for the repairs itself because the person who hit the bridge has not come forward – and the costs could reach £30,000.
Because the bridge is listed, the repairs have to be carried out using stones to match the existing work where possible. Ordering and implementing the correct stone could take another four months.
Sarah Rudy of the Canal & River Trust said: “I appreciate this road closure is frustrating for local people.
"Safety is a top priority for the trust and it simply isn’t safe for local people to use the road whilst the parapet needs repairing.
“Bridges such as this are such an important part of the 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.
"It’s also massively frustrating for local people who want to use the road.
“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.”