Historic canal bridge near Harborough has been hit and badly damaged for the second time in the last eight months

It appears a driver has crashed into the bridge again
The canal bridge has been hit for the second time in a year.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTERThe canal bridge has been hit for the second time in a year.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
The canal bridge has been hit for the second time in a year. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Angry Canal & River Trust chiefs today said they are very frustrated after an historic canal bridge near Market Harborough was seriously damaged again by a “careless” driver.

They hit out after the old stone bridge spanning the Grand Union Canal was hit in the same place for the second time in the last eight months.

A huge chunk of one wall of the bridge on Bunkers Hill Road outside Lubenham has been smashed – and the masonry has toppled on to the canal bank below.

The canal bridge has been hit for the second time in a year.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTERThe canal bridge has been hit for the second time in a year.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
The canal bridge has been hit for the second time in a year. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The crash has battered the section of wall that was damaged and repaired this spring.

The bridge is over 100 years old.

About 30 per cent of the wall has been damaged, said the Trust.

And their works teams will be forced to remove another 20 per cent of the wall so they can carry out vital repairs.

How the bridge looked after it was previously repairedHow the bridge looked after it was previously repaired
How the bridge looked after it was previously repaired

As well as repairing the brickwork the Trust is now set to provide extra protection to the walls to prevent a repeat of the devastating smash.

The canal operator is hoping to repair the bridge by Sunday January 9.

The Trust has got the crash driver’s details from police and is now working to recover the cost of the repairs through their insurance.

“It’s always so frustrating to see historic bridges damaged by careless driving - but especially so in this case having only repaired the bridge earlier this year.

The canal bridge has been hit for the second time in a year.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTERThe canal bridge has been hit for the second time in a year.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
The canal bridge has been hit for the second time in a year. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“As the charity tasked with protecting and preserving the nation’s historic waterways we’d urge drivers to please slow down when approaching historic canal bridges,” a Trust spokesman told the Harborough Mail.

“These bridges weren’t designed for modern cars and so they do need a little bit of care and respect when approaching them.

“If drivers slow down when approaching a traditional canal bridge they’ll be helping us to ensure that these important pieces of our local history are there to be enjoyed for future generations – as well as protecting their insurance premiums.”

The latest incident comes after a van driver collided with the bridge on Saturday April 3 this year.

How the bridge looked after it was previously repairedHow the bridge looked after it was previously repaired
How the bridge looked after it was previously repaired

The motorist fled into the night after their vehicle burst into flames.

It took engineers almost a month to repair the bridge and reopen it to traffic.

The bridge, which lies off the Lubenham-Mowsley country road, was also hit just over two years ago.