Wednesday, January 03, 2018
Lancashire County Council is consulting residents about a proposal to stop traffic from using a historic bridge in the village of Croston, to preserve it for future generations.
The Croston Town Bridge was constructed in 1682 and is at the heart of the village conservation area. It is a Grade 2 listed structure and a Scheduled Ancient Monument, carrying a minor road called The Hillocks over the River Yarrow.
The council is considering closing the narrow bridge because it suffers continual damage from vehicles hitting the parapet walls, scraping them and knocking the stones out of place. Due to its status as a historic monument, permission is needed from Historic England (HE) before making major repairs, and HE recently alerted the council that it was unusual for such a historically significant bridge to still be open to traffic.
The town bridge provides direct access to the village centre for a small number of homes. An alternative route across the Yarrow is available a short distance away, emerging at the other end of the village. The council's bridges team has already informally consulted the Parish Council, and received positive feedback on the proposal to close it.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Croston Town Bridge is not only a key feature of the picturesque village of Croston, but a nationally important structure.
"The bridge is very narrow and unfortunately we often have to repair damage which has been caused by vehicles. We are also know that pedestrians feel unsafe when using the bridge at the same time as vehicles are crossing.
"Due to feedback from Historic England we've considered what more we can do to preserve the bridge for future generations, and we think the best option would be to close it to vehicles.
"If we go ahead with a legal order to close the bridge to vehicles people will have another opportunity to respond to a formal consultation, but before we do that we're keen to make sure local people know what we're proposing and give them the chance to raise any issues."
The county council is proposing that, even if closed to daily traffic, the bridge could quickly be reopened during flooding incidents to allow access for residents and emergency services.
There would be a number of extra benefits to closing the bridge, including improved safety for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders by reducing the potential for conflict with vehicles. It would also become a public space, improving the conservation area.
If you would like to offer feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 29 January 2018 – the earlier deadline mentioned in recent letters to residents has been extended. You can also respond in writing to Town Bridge Consultation, Design and Construction, Lancashire County Council, PO Box 100, County Hall, Preston, PR1 0LD. Please also include your name and address.
Tagged as: Roads, Parking and Travel