Highways England accused of 'VANDALISM' over Victorian bridge
Highways England have been accused of 'vandalism' by filling-in historic railway bridge arches with concrete and stopping them being used by walkers and cyclists.
Highways England hired contractors to infill a bridge at Great Musgrave near Warcop, Cumbria, last month 'without justification'.
The Eden Valley railway and Stainmore railways, which run north and south of the 159-year-old bridge, had long hoped to unite their tracks to attract tourists.
Highways England said infilling was needed to 'prevent further deterioration of the bridge from occurring and remove the associated risk of structural collapse and harm to the public'.
But documents obtained by the two railways reveal inspectors had no concerns about the bridge's condition.
They added that £5,000 worth of work would have increased its capacity to 40 tonnes and made it safe for any vehicle to pass over - while infilling cost a whopping £124k.
The bridge is one of 134 sites due to be demolished or infilled around the country.