THE Canal & River Trust is not for once urging boaters to slow down, but motorists using its many bridges, that are being battered by vehicles, which is costing the Trust a great deal of money to repair.
With narrowboatworld reporting three bridges having been damaged within a few weeks, the cost of repairs is high.
Have to be rebuilt
The latest to be damaged is Clayworth Greys Bridge on the Chesterfield Canal with it so significant that a section of the bridge has been taken down and will have to be rebuilt. The driver hasn't been identified and the repair is expected to cost the Trust up to £20,000.
Sean McGinley, Waterway Manager for the Trust, explained:
"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 (18th December) and the Trust has 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.