THE parapet railing on the Loxwood Bridge over the Wey & Arun Canal on the B2133 Loxwood High Street has now been removed to reveal the new, but more traditional-looking brick and rail parapets to replace the previous steel barriers.
Though the original railings (pictured) complied with all the regulations, they caused many complaints as not fitting in with the area, so following a great deal of negotiation with local residents, represented by Loxwood Parish Council and The Loxwood Society, as well as local authority Chichester District Council and highways authority West Sussex County Council, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust worked to replace the motorway-style barrier with a more sympathetic solution, in keeping with the location and planning guidance, pictured below.
Work by Sussex-based Concept Building Services to replace the 1.8m high galvanised steel railing and mesh fence, which was installed when the bridge was completed in 2009, started in April and was completed ahead of schedule on 1st June, with the trust's Chief Engineer, John Talbot, explaining:
"The steel barrier has been replaced by a 1m high cast in situ concrete wall, that has been faced with brickwork, and topped by a single rail to raise the height to 1.4m.
"The result is strong enough to provide containment and protection for users of the bridleway but looks more in keeping with the canal setting and allows pedestrians a clearer glimpse of the canal too."
Len Milsom on behalf of Loxwood Society pointed out that the trust had been working hard over the last three and a half years to raise sufficient funds to replace the bridge parapets, and members of the society are delighted that now the appearance of the bridge is more in keeping with its local environment and other local river and canal structures.