Land of Broken Bridges: Almost half of England’s 9,000 motorway and A-road junctions are in “poor” condition and in urgent need of repair, official data shows
- Almost half of the motorway bridges in England are in poor or very poor condition
- Around 858 bridges have at least one crucial section in “very poor condition”.
- Highways England insisted that a “bad” rating does not mean a bridge is unsafe
Almost half of the bridges on England’s motorways and A-roads are in poor or very poor condition.
According to data from Highways England, released under Freedom of Information Acts, evidence of damage or defects was found in 4,000 of around 9,000 bridges and major culverts.
About 858 had at least one critical section in “very bad shape” that could put them at risk of failure, The Times reported. The revelations will raise concerns about the UK state’s road infrastructure.
The West London junction, which is not owned or maintained by Highways England, is not expected to reopen to traffic until 2027, four years later than planned.
The fiasco has generated international ridicule and concerns about the crumbling road infrastructure of the UK state.
Two people took a look at Hammersmith Bridge last month after it closed over concerns that it was structurally dangerous
Hammersmith Bridge, which is not owned or maintained by Highways England, is not expected to open to traffic until 2027
Highways England released details of bridge failures after an 18 month battle with the UK Data Protection Commissioner.
They tried to prevent details from being revealed as it could help terrorists attack. Last night the organization insisted that a rating of “bad” or “very bad” does not mean that a structure is unsafe.
They said the overall condition of the works had improved over the past five years and £ 1.5bn was earmarked for maintenance by 2025 – £ 200m more than 2015-2020.
However, critics said the results are cause for concern.
Matt Rodda, secretary for shadow roads, told The Times: “It is a major safety concern and a real failure of this government that so much of the country’s vital infrastructure is in such disrepair.
One of the most famous bridges managed by Highways Engand is the M48 Severn Bridge. The structural evaluation is unknown
“Bridges are a vital part of a country’s functioning and it is alarming that so many have fallen into disrepair in Britain.”
Mike Wilson, Chief Engineer of Highways England said: “Our roads connect the country and every day millions of people rely on our structures to get to their destinations safely. All of our structures are secure and are checked regularly.
A rating of ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ does not mean that a structure is unsafe. It’s just a way of doing a visual inspection, such as B. the condition of the paint to record so that we can consider future maintenance requirements.
‘We conduct more than 10,000 inspections annually, during which a range of measures are examined from the condition of the paint to the integrity of the materials.
“By looking at all of these assessments together, we can assess overall maintenance needs and reduce the likelihood of emergency repairs. This means that most of our maintenance can be scheduled to minimize disruption.”