War of words and intentions over bridge works pause

18/10/2021
Chris Ames

A district council leader has accused National Highways of pushing ahead with plans to infill or demolish ‘much loved local landmarks’, despite the Government supposedly calling a halt to the policy.

Zoe Nicholson (pictured), leader of Lewes District Council, has written to transport secretary Grant Shapps, demanding the ‘full and unequivocal cessation’ of the policy that could see historic railway bridges such as the bridge in Church Road, Barcombe infilled.

The council said the letter was in response to the actions of National Highways (previously Highways England) ‘to push ahead with plans to infill or demolish much loved local landmarks, including the bridge in Barcombe - despite the Government supposedly calling a halt to the policy earlier this year’.

National Highways had said that a national ‘pause’ on infilling and demolition plans remains in place and that if infilling becomes an option for the Bridge in Barcombe, the scheme will be reviewed by the SAF and ‘planning permission would be sought accordingly’.

However, Cllr Nicholson appears unconvinced.

She said: ‘The Government claimed to have put a stop on this deeply unpopular policy, yet in Barcombe there is clear evidence that Highways England (sic) is riding roughshod over any apparent pause in the programme and stealthily pushing ahead using their all-encompassing emergency powers, causing unnecessary destruction to nature and the countryside.

‘I have asked the Secretary of State to urgently confirm a full and unequivocal cessation of the policy that leaves Highways England in no doubt whatsoever that they must stop and review their approach.’

A local campaign against infilling the bridge has been launched © TheHREGroup

In February Jacobs, which manages the Historic Railway Estate on behalf of National Highways wrote to the council, stating that ‘as the structure represents an ongoing and increasing risk to public safety…Highways England HRE propose to undertake the support works as permitted development in line with the ‘Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, Schedule 2, Part 9 Class B’.

Class B provides permitted development powers to the strategic highways company (e.g. National Highways) in exercise of functions under the Highways Act 1980. However, National Highways is not the highway authority for the unclassified road over the bridge.

Stephen Gauntlett, the council’s cabinet member for planning, said: ‘We are told that an initial assessment of the bridge has been carried out by Highways England and that they believe it is dangerous. If that is the case, the next appropriate step is to organise the necessary propping and remedial works to the bridge that can allow a more comprehensive survey to be undertaken and a full analysis of those findings.

‘It is the very least that should be done when such an historic and important local landmark shows signs of its great age.’

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Inside

  • The £2.5bn Surrey partnering contract
  • The politics of protest
  • Stoke's roadworks league
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Assistant Highway Manager

£35,745 - £43,857 per annum plus £2,000 per annum Market Forces Payment
We are looking for enthusiastic and pro-active individuals to join the service who are articulate communicators and have strong negotiation skills. Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Highways Locality Manager

£43,857 - £46,845 per annum plus £3,000 Market Forces Supplement per annum
We are looking for an enthusiastic and pro-active individual to join the service who is an articulate communicator and has strong negotiation skills. Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Senior Drainage Asset Manager

£43,857 - £46,845 per annum plus £2,000 per annum Market Forces Supplement
As Senior Drainage Asset Manager your focus will mainly be on helping develop our emerging Drainage Strategy. Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Engineer Project Manager, Drainage

£32,234 - £43,857 per annum + £2,000 per annum Market Forces Payment
As an Engineering Project Manager your focus will mainly be on emerging drainage issues as they relate to the Public Highway. Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Transport Development Officer

£39,880 - £43,857 per annum
A flexible working offer that allows you to have a true work/life balance. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Recycling Manager

£41,952 - £48,663
The position sits within the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA’s) Strategy and Services team, managing... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Traffic Management Officer - Carlisle

£31.346 - £32.234
This role involves working within the traffic team liaising with members of the public and councillors agreeing and... Cumbria
Recruiter: Cumbria County Council

Street Lighting Operatives

£22,183 - £23,080
We are looking for the right candidates to join our team as Street Lighting Operatives. Workington, Cumbria
Recruiter: Cumbria County Council

Senior Engineer Structures - Asset Management & Inspection

£37,890 - £40,876
Join the successful structures team who have won a number of awards. Yate
Recruiter: South Gloucestershire Council

Senior Engineer Structures - Design & Assessment

£37,890 - £40,876
Join the successful structures team who have won a number of awards. Yate
Recruiter: South Gloucestershire Council

Engineer Structures x2 Posts

£33,782 - £36,922
Working in the structures team, you will be a vital team member. Yate
Recruiter: South Gloucestershire Council

Engineering Manager

£46,756 - £54,238 per annum
The Engineering Manager is a key member of the service management team within CATS and plays a... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Local Highway Officer

£22,183 - £32,234
The Local Highway Officer role is based in the Highway Service. Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Environmental Health/Environmental Protection Officer - Noise

£41,607.00 - £44,598.00
This post attracts an essential car user allowance. The post holder is able to take part in the Council's flexible working scheme. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Engineering Manager

£46,756 - £54,238 per annum
The Engineering Team is responsible for the management of the Council’s fleet of vehicles (circa 330), ensuring... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Street Care Operative

Grade 3 - Starting at £18,657 per annum, rising to £19,905
The Council’s Street Care service is responsible for the cleanliness of the whole borough and undertake a range of street cleaning and street care ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Neighbourhood Highways Officers (Western Team)

£28,672 - £32,234 per annum
We are seeking to recruit two Neighbourhood Highways Officers, to be based in Okehampton. Devon
Recruiter: Devon County Council

Demand Responsive Transport Officer

£32,234 pa - £34,728 pa
The role sits within the Integrated Transport Unit. Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Head of Highways

£68,640 - £76,148 per annum
We are absolutely delighted to announce that Cheshire West and Chester are looking for a Head of Highways. Chester, Cheshire
Recruiter: Cheshire West & Chester

Highways Team Leader

£25,481 - £25,991
Are you a hard-working and experienced Highways operative, looking for the next step in your career? Cumbria
Recruiter: Cumbria County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video