24 September 2018
The downside of the long, hot summer is that there have been further frustrations for boaters resulting from rail swing bridges not being able to open to allow river traffic to pass.
The Broads Authority worked with Network Rail to host a workshop in August to discuss the challenges of bridge failures and how they might be mitigated. The meeting was well attended with representatives from the Navigation Committee, Broads Authority members and officers, Network Rail and the boating community and associated industries.
The meeting gave everyone the opportunity to share the difficulties that bridge closures cause and learn what action is being taken. It also dispelled some myths.
A number of immediate actions were agreed to help manage the problems and minimise disruption while Network Rail prepares the case for additional funding of £80 million to replace the bridges at Reedham and Somerleyton in the long term. This has to be set in the context of a total current five-year budget of £160 million to maintain 6,000 structures across the region. The full meeting notes are available at www.broads-authority.gov.uk/swing-bridges.pdf