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The battle for Barcombe bridge

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National Highways ‘ infilling of legacy railway structures continues to cause controversy despite the Government pausing all schemes in the summer.

At Barcombe in East Sussex, campaigners are fighting to prevent a 1,000-tonne concrete and aggregate embankment being installed, blocking an ecologically sensitive habitat and wildlife corridor. The bridge – which dates from 1882 – stands within a conservation area which is intended to protect the village’s historic assets.

Lewes District Council supports the community’s view that such an environmentally reckless act has no place in 2021; ministers have been lobbied by the local MP. But what will be final outcome be?

Graeme Bickerdike
Graeme Bickerdikehttp://therailengineer.com
SPECIALIST AREAS Tunnels and bridges, historic structures and construction techniques, railway safety Graeme Bickerdike's association with the railway industry goes back to the mid-nineties when he was contracted to produce safety awareness videos and printed materials aimed at the on-track community. This led to him heading a stream of work to improve the way safety rules are communicated and understood - ultimately simplifying them - for which he received the IRSE’s Wing Award for Safety in 2007. In 2005, Graeme launched a website to catalogue and celebrate some of the more notable disused railway structures which still grace Britain’s landscape. Several hundred have since had their history researched and a photographic record captured. A particular focus has been the construction methods adopted by Victorian engineers and contractors; as a result, the site has become a useful resource for those with asset management responsibilities. Graeme has been writing for Rail Engineer for the past ten years, generally looking at civil engineering projects and associated issues. He has a deep appreciation of the difficulties involved in building tunnels and viaducts through the 19th Century, a trait which is often reflected in his stories.


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