HomeGeneral InterestVideo: Highways England bridge infilling plans

Video: Highways England bridge infilling plans

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Highways England plans to infill or demolish around 130 disused railways structures over the next five years, many of which are earmarked for reuse as part of reopened railways, heritage line extensions or greenways for active travel.

The state-owned roads company manages the Historical Railways Estate of 3,200 bridges, viaducts and tunnels on behalf of the Department for Transport.

According to campaigners, the infilling programme conflicts with Government policies to encourage sustainable forms of transport and pulls the rug from under communities trying to build a better future.

The affected structures are mostly in good condition and showing no signs of distress, but Highways England says they have failed assessments to carry 44-tonne wagons.

An online petition against the plans has so far been signed by more than 12,000 people.

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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