Bridge repairs in Wakefield to cost council millions

Storrs Hill Road Bridge, Horbury Bridge
Storrs Hill Road Bridge, Horbury Bridge

MILLIONS of pounds worth of bridge repairs are set to be given the go-ahead by council chiefs next week.

Members of Wakefield Council’s cabinet committee will consider a report on the bridges capital programme when they meet on Tuesday.

A report prepared for the meeting said the council may also have to cover the cost of repairs to bridges, which it is not necessarily responsible for to ensure public safety.

It also said the council could be liable for damages or prosecuted for a range of offences, including corporate manslaughter, if it does not carry out the work it is responsible for.

The report said: “There are four bridges carrying highways over former railway sidings, where the adjacent land has been transferred by UK Coal to Wakefield Council, but for which transfer of liability and maintenance of the bridges is disputed.

“These are in poor condition and as a result of the dispute, essential maintenance has not been carried out.”

It said putting weight restrictions in place because of a failure to carry out routine maintenance work could also result in compensation claims from businesses or residents who are adversely affected by the restriction.

High priority jobs listed in the work programme include £324,000 worth of work to Dudfleet Lane bridge in Horbury, which could be reduced to £155,000 if it’s combined with a Network Rail scheme on another bridge nearby.

Storrs Hill Road Bridge in Horbury is also earmarked for strengthening work in the report at a cost of £98,000 to the council and Cow Lane bridge in Sharlston, needs £753,000 worth of strengthening work, which the council has to pay £547,000 towards.