New bridge for farmer

Published: Wednesday, 25 August 2010

IT WAS a hire boat that damaged Belchers Lift Bridge on the Oxford Canal, with British Waterways concluding it was then unsafe for a farmer to use, and dismantled it where it laid on the ground for two years.

The bridge near Aynho Wharf has now been replaced by British Waterways at a cost of £200,000 so the farmer can get his cows across once more, Alan Tilbury relates.

Spokesman Sarah Rudy explained:

"£200,000 does seem like a lot of money but this just reflects the true cost of maintaining and restoring heritage structures along a 200 years old canal.

"We invest all our income back into maintaining our canals and rivers and lift bridges on the canal are one the well known features of the canal which we want to be able to maintain and restore for future generations."

As the location of the bridge was not accessible by road, it was taken to the site in 40 pieces and assembled before being lifted into position by crane.