Farmer gets approval for new Bailey bridge to cross Old Nene watercourse

A BRIDGE over the Old Nene watercourse is to be replaced by an ex-military Bailey bridge to give access to Floods Ferry Farm, at Floods Ferry near March.

Fenland Council approved permission for the new bridge after hearing the existing one had fallen into disrepair and was no longer safe for farm traffic.

And hikers had voted with their feet and also abandoned use of the old bridge even though it remains a public right of way.

The council was told the current bridge is made of steel girders with wooden decking supported on concrete abutments which project out from the river banks.

“The southern concrete abutment has subsidised by over a meter in recent years and it is no longer felt that it safe for the farm traffic,” said a report to planners.

“Should it fall into further disrepair there is a potential for risk to river navigations and safety of pedestrians using the public footpath across the bridge.”

Middle Level Commissions advised on the replacement bridge and opted for the Bailey bridge because of its similarity in construction and appearance to the existing bridge. Cost, effectiveness and availability were also considered.

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The farm’s owners says a neighbour who lives close to the bridge is “fully supportive” of the replacement bridge and has even offered his land for storage during the construction period.

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