Oxford Canal closed for 10 days

Published: Monday, 18 April 2011

TO ALLOW for the demolition of a bridge over the North Oxford Canal, the waterway will be closed for 10 days as the holiday season gets underway.

Allcotts Bridge (15) at Ansty belongs to Punch Taverns, and British Waterways first notified the company about the stability of the bridge way back in November 2008.

Boating season

The waterway between Hawkesbury Junction and the winding hole North of Bridge 30 will be completely closed from Monday 9th May to Thursday 19th, just as the boating season gets  underway.

We are told that following further deterioration over the winter and an independent survey by a structural engineer appointed by Punch Taverns, that the company has approached British Waterways for permission to close the canal to facilitate the demolition.

Daily monitoring

Given the current condition of the structure a daily monitoring regime has been established by Punch Taverns to ensure the safety of British Waterways' customers until the bridge is demolished.

Neil Owen, British Waterways' Principal Engineer, South East Waterways explained:

"Closing a canal to navigation is not a step we take lightly, especially during the boating season. However the safety of our customers using the waterways is our top priority. In this instance the bridge which needs demolition is not the property of British Waterways, and we have been advising Punch Taverns for some time that they must take action."

It will seem strange to many that, knowing the long standing condition of the bridge, a more active attempt had not been made to demolish it during the winter months.