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Bonkers Blog July 2015

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7 July (Part 2) - A bridge too far?

Twitter users may have noticed that James Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup, took time off at the weekend to raise money for the Jimmy Mizen Foundation. He crossed all of London’s 21 bridges on foot, a distance in excess of 20 miles.

BrokenshireThat’s pretty impressive, almost a marathon but at a slower pace. I once covered a similar distance in a day but I was 50 years younger at the time. On the other hand it was up and down over the Brecon Beacons and misty and long before the days of GPS. A miracle we survived really.

You can add to the £1,300 James raised for the worthwhile local charity via the web.

A bridge nearer home has also occupied James’ time. He was asked to put pressure on the police to enforce the 7·5 tonne weight restriction on Bexley’s allegedly weak bridge over the Cray.

Mr. Brokenshire replied to say he had “seen no evidence that the bridge is currently not fit for its purpose”. Maybe he hasn’t but if it is fit for purpose one might wonder why £1·7 million has been allocated for its replacement, especially as the weight limit is not to be relaxed.

There was no comment on the enforcement question. No one seems bothered by that so one might assume that the bridge is quite good enough to carry 20 tonne (loaded) buses and the restriction is for the benefit of the village rather than the bridge. A not unreasonable situation if true which again makes replacement questionable.

The only known advantage of a replacement bridge is the slightly greater width but that is the very feature to have caused the Environment Agency to make representations.


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