Potential danger of crumbling bridge

A public footpath in Shawell, south of Lutterworth, has been closed because of a potentially dangerous bridge.

The footpath, numbered as X24, is likely to remain closed until at least January 15 because the bridge is deemed unstable and debris could fall on walkers.

The footpath – which links Main Street in the village with Gibbet Lane – passes under an embankment of the old Great Central Railway, through a brick archway.

It is this archway “in the middle of nowhere” that needs repair, explained Shawell Parish Council chairman Frank Fisher. Referring to the mass railway closures of the 1960s, he said: “It’s probably been deteriorating since the Beeching cuts.”

Leicestershire County Council’s highways department agreed to the continuation of the path’s closure for a further 21 days.

A spokesman for the county council said: “The emergency closure is required as the brick disused railway structure is unstable and debris could potentially fall.”

During the closure, an alternative footpath route for walkers will be signed on the site by the county council.