AT last, Peel Holdings have agreed to renovate Stockton Heath swing bridge, which is very welcome, although this is going to take nine months with the crossing completely closed.

This is probably longer than the construction of the bridge in the 1890s.

The disruption is clearly going to be extensive to Latchford, Wilderspool, Stockton Heath and beyond, and with engineers on the job for that length of time, the cost is going to be significant with the structure being 130 years old.

Spare parts have to be made to order.

I wonder if Peel Holdings had considered an alternative – completely replacing the bridge with a modern structure?

This could actually be quicker and have lower ongoing maintenance costs.

A modern bridge can be manufactured with state-of-the-art coatings to prevent corrosion.

The existing structure has turned to iron oxide because all the engineers had to stave off rust formation was standard oil paint.

A new structure would be lighter and might actually swing a bit quicker.

There would most likely be people complaining that they like the old structure, but I say get rid of it – it will always be an eyesore.


Stockton Heath