Chris Ames 29 January 2021

Council bridges decline as scour checks fall

Council bridges decline as scour checks fall image

The number of substandard road bridges managed by councils across Great Britain is increasing, new research shows.

According to the latest survey by the RAC Foundation, local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales have identified 3,105 bridges - structures over 1.5m in span – as being substandard.

This was 1.6% up on the 3,055 figure twelve months before. Councils responding to the survey are responsible for maintaining 71,656 bridges, meaning that 4.3% of the inventory is substandard.

Substandard means unable to carry the heaviest vehicles now seen on British roads, including lorries of up to 44 tonnes. Many of the substandard bridges are subject to weight restrictions. Others will be under programmes of increased monitoring or even managed decline.

However, councils reported that, at the time they responded in Autumn 2020, 10 bridges across Great Britain had fully collapsed in the previous 12 months. A further 30 had partially collapsed.

The RAC Foundation said that, despite these failures, the analysis also shows an apparent large decline in the number of bridges being assessed for (scour) damage caused by river flow.

Kevin Dentith, chair of the ADEPT National Bridges Group, said: ’The serious flooding we have just experienced across England means bridges with foundations in watercourses will have again been subjected to scouring. Bridge owners should satisfy themselves that appropriate action is in place to ensure the more susceptible bridges are protected.

‘As someone who has been promoting scour assessments at national conferences, webinars and advising Highway England with the BD97/12 update it is worrying that whilst the industry knows scour is the main cause of bridge collapse the survey shows the number of scour assessments has dropped so significantly where it should be increasing.’

For more on this article, visit Highways Magazine.

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Teacher of the Deaf

City of Bradford MDC
Band/Grade MPS / UPS + 1 or 2 SEN
We are seeking to recruit a creative, innovative and experienced Teacher of the Deaf to work in the Support Team for Deaf Children. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Registration Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£26,481 -£37,677
Do you want a fast-paced and varied role? Would you like to help people through some of the most important moments of their lives? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Head of Service – Adults Services South, Safeguarding & DoLS

Bolton Council
£51,772
It is an exciting time to join us as Head of Service for Safeguarding, DoLS and South District. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Apprenticeship

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£28,470 - £44,628
Kick-start your career with an apprenticeship based in Royal Borough of Greenwich. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Social Worker – Enhanced Social Care Support In Reach

Essex County Council
£32,787 to £44,826
We currently have an opportunity for a Social Worker to join our Countywide Enhanced Support In Reach Team. Essex / Countywide
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.