Disused railway bridges to be saved after outcry | The Times
Friday July 30 2021
Plans to block dozens of bridges on disused railway lines will be suspended under proposals to reopen the routes for cyclists and walkers, it emerged today.
Highways England, the government-owned roads company, has identified bridges it claims are at risk of collapse, saying that the structures need to be infilled to protect the public.
However, heritage campaigners have opposed the move, insisting that most bridges are in good working order and many are on disused lines that are earmarked as future cycling and walking routes. Some could even be reopened as full passenger railways and blocking them off will ruin future plans, it is claimed.
They fear that the policy is being pushed purely because Highways England no longer wants to be liable for the structures.
Anger mounted after tonnes of concrete were poured beneath a bridge at Great Musgrave near Warcop, Cumbria, with the work being criticised as “vandalism”. Campaigners claimed that it would have cost only £5,000 to repair it.