Damage to bridges caused by road vehicles cost £1m a year

Repairs to bridge on Chesterfield Canal after car crash

Repairs to bridge on Chesterfield Canal after car crash - Credit: CRT

The CRT is urging drivers to slow down after yet another ‘bridge bash’ in December left a repair bill and “a small bit of history lost”

Road vehicles striking canal bridges are costing £1m in repairs every year, according to the Canal & River Trust.

In December, a driver struck the Chesterfield Canal’s traditional 18th-century hump-backed Clayworth Bridge, causing enough damage for the Trust’s engineers to take down the parapet for rebuilding, at a cost of £20,000. As the incident took place at the dead of night, with the vehicle disappearing, the cost of repairs will come from CRT funds.

It isn’t a huge amount compared to CRT’s maintenance budget, but the sheer number of such cases means the Trust has spent more than £1m in the last year on repairing bridges damaged by motorists.

Not only would this money be better used on maintaining the canals, but as the Trust’s Sean McGinley put it, “it’s heart-breaking to spend so much time and money caring for these amazing structures just to see them so carelessly damaged”.


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