Those Leeds & Liverpool swing bridges

Published: Wednesday, 20 November 2019

READING that the Methodist Swing Bridge on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal had broken down jogged my memory, writes Les Collins.

And trolling back through narrowboatworld I soon discovered why—it had broken down already this year and again last year.

Broken down many times

Your reports on those Leeds & Liverpool Canal swing bridges really showed just how unreliable they have become, with Coxhead another that had broken down many times and the Crabtree Swing Bridge breaking down so often—twice in one day in fact!that it is a joke amongst regular users.

My scrutiny of the swing bridges on that canal unearthed an article claiming that they had well reached their 'use by' date, with the continuous failures well proving that the time had come for replacement.

A good maintenance regime

But perhaps this is not at all necessary, for surely it is only certain mechanical parts that cause failures, not the whole structure, some of which must be sound, so if there was a good maintenance regime and those mechanical part inspected and replaced if warranted, the continuous swing bridge failures would again become a thing of the past.

But then, further trolling of narrowboatworld revealed that the policy nowadays is 'wait until it breaks then mend it', which is proving correct.

So my suggestion alas will be in vain.