THE bridge at the Crook O’ Lune will reopen today (Wednesday 26 October).
The listed structure was closed in March after an inspection showed problems, particularly with the timber beams supporting the deck.
The county council has carried out work to provide a new temporary bridge deck, supported by scaffolding, to allow people to use it again.
A scaffolding company has constructed a walkway, above the current bridge deck, which will be supported by the original metal arch structure beneath. The county council has then put down a non-slip surface ahead of its reopening.
The current diversion, which redirects people over the Caton Lune Bridge on Low Road, will be removed when work on the temporary bridge and some maintenance works on Caton Lune Bridge are complete.
Officers are currently exploring options to attract outside grant funding to help to pay for a refit which would be needed to completely restore the bridge.
The bridge near the Crook O’ Lune picnic site and Millennium Park carries the River Lune Cycleway which is a popular route for cyclists, walkers and horse riders.
Lancashire County Council will unfortunately have to close the Crook ‘O’ Lune pedestrian bridge (east) on Monday 21st March due to safety reasons.
An inspection of the bridge was carried out following concerns regarding the deterioration of its condition and it has been confirmed that it is unsafe for future use.
The findings of the inspection report show the structure to be in a poor condition. The timber beams are overall in a very poor condition with numerous examples of entire beams being hollow and rotten along with several extensive splits. Some of the beams are starting to compress and deform due to the weight of the deck that they are supporting. Other beams may appear outwardly to be sound but they are actually rotting from within due to water coming in from above.
In order to protect cyclists and pedestrians an alternative pedestrian route is being provided across the Caton Lune Bridge. A 30mph speed restriction temporary traffic lights and single way traffic will be installed from Monday 21st March on Caton Lune Bridge, to allow the creation a marked pedestrian area alongside the traffic. The River Lune Cycleway will unfortunately have to be closed at Crook ‘O’ Lune Bridge.
Crook ‘O’ Lune car park and picnic site are also adjacent to the bridge, the car park, picnic area and cafe will remain open for business as usual.
The bridge originally a railway bridge, was constructed in the 1880’s but now carries the River Lune Cycleway which caters for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. The Crook ‘O’ Lune (West) Bridge was refurbished in 2005, after being found to have similar problems to those of this bridge.
We apologise for the inconvenience that this closure may cause but I am sure you appreciate that the safety of the community is paramount in this decision. We will keep you informed of the next steps once our full assessment have been made and considered.
The above is from e-mail I received today from Lancashire County Council and I think the bridge is going to be out action for rest of the year, if 2005 bridge repairs were anything to go by!
I attended meeting of the ‘Lancashire Local’, both myself and Matt Hodges spoke as members of the public at start of the meeting about items on agenda. Matt spoke on behalf of the CTC and I spoke from the angle of Wray Parish Council. We had to wait to end of the meeting as the extension of the Lune Valley Cycle Path from Caton to Wray was the last item on the agenda.
There were two reasons for the delay of extension cycle path lasting several years. One was objections of the Claughton residents and the second was the intransigence of some landowners. So it was stalemate.
It was put to the meeting that only way forward was to invoke compulsory purchase powers, did the Lancaster Local want the cycle path to proceed and did the Lancaster Local want to invoke compulsory purchase powers.
Myself and Matt were most highly delighted that all the councilors who spoke on the issue were all in favour. In fact they spoke in glowing terms about it and there was a unanimous ‘YES’ vote.
Controversial plans to extend the Lune Valley cycleway are back on agenda. At last week’s Lancashire Local meeting City and Country Councilors voted in favour of a possible extension of the cyclepath from Bull Beck to Hornby, Wray and Wennington. Two possible options were tabled -not supporting the cycle track extension or using compulsory purchase powers to allow the track to be extended to Wray.
A report said though there had been general support for the proposals from residents of Wray and Hornby, there was oppposition from landowners in the area and residents in Claughton. There was also difficulty securing agreement from landowners in the ares on any one particular route. While it was acknowledged the cycleway would have tourism benefits for the area, it was also thought it would be difficult to justify the cost. This could be in excess of £1 million.
Speaking after the meeting to Lancaster Guardian reporter one Claughton resident who did not wish to be named said “When they first proposed a cycle track we objected on it on safety grounds.
“They were suggesting bikes, disabled users, cyclists and horses could use one little track. We thought it was an accident waiting to happen. The planned route would have to come around the back of our properties, and the land is liable to flooding. We would have said yes if they could come up with a sensible idea”.
To read this article and to vote in the Guardian’s poll please click here, if the poll is no longer available you also have opportunity to vote for or against the proposed cycle track extension from Wray to Caton on South Lakes Group at http://southlakesgroup.forumco.com/topic~Topic_lD~15.asp