Railway bridge infilling furore – petition update on filling of Musgrave bridge in Cumbria generates huge backlash – road.cc
14 June 2021
The latest update to a petition(link is external) aimed at preventing Highways England from filling in heritage railway bridges around the UK has provoked a furious response. The update to the ‘Protect our railway heritage from Highways England’s wrecking ball’ petition, posted on 12th June, claims that it’s looking “increasingly likely” efforts to save Great Musgrave bridge in Cumbria from being filled in will be lost:
“Highways England started to infill this bridge on 24 May. It does not have planning permission and the local authority has twice asked it to stop. But it has continued with this vandalism regardless, citing Permitted Development powers which only facilitate temporary works in emergency situations presenting a risk of death or injury”, said the petition’s author.
One commented: “They are doing the same to a railway tunnel on the old Bradford – Queensbury – Halifax line. They started to pour concrete down a ventilation shaft but had to stop after a local outcry. There are local plans to incorporate the tunnel into part of a cycleway between Bradford and Halifax but it seems that they are waiting to rush in and completely fill it, ignoring the fact that most local people want to keep it open.”
The petition has attracted over 13,000 signatures so far, and says that while the UK’s network of foot and cycle routes “has brought new life to many old railways over the past 50 years”, Highways England has plans to demolish or infill 3,200 of them.