Letter: Restriction is a compromise

Mearclough Bridge in Sowerby Bridge has been made narrower
Mearclough Bridge in Sowerby Bridge has been made narrower

I write in response to Coun Roger Taylor’s letter about Mearclough Bridge in which he attempts to blame associated problems on Labour Party councillors and foreigners - a pretty standard retort on everything for Coun Taylor I have to say.

He asserts that the problem with HGVs ‘was not that great’. Really? The bridge has been partially knocked down and closed for repairs countless times over the years, and repair costs to the taxpayer have been well in excess of £100,000 in the past three years alone.

This has been a difficult issue to get right. At our ward forum the overwhelming majority of Sowerby Bridge residents favoured a permanent closure to all vehicles, whilst Norland residents have largely opposed closure.

Many businesses in the vicinity of the bridge have written to councillors to say they also favour a permanent closure, and ward councillors from both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party had originally lent their support to this idea. The current width restriction is a compromise which will be trialled and monitored and allows access for small vehicles, but not HGVs.

I am pleased the grade II listed bridge is now back in one piece and let’s hope it will not now be destroyed on a regular basis as it was before.

Coun Adam Wilkinson, Labour Sowerby Bridge