Sunday, 01 August 2021

Historic bridge takes another bash from wayward boat

Historic bridge takes another bash from wayward boat

FRESH calls have been made for repairs to Henley Bridge after another boat crashed into one of its stone arches.

A pleasure cruiser collided with the Grade I listed bridge just after 4pm on Friday, causing debris to fall on to the boat.

It is the latest in a series of crashes, the last being in May and also involving a cruiser. Oxfordshire County Council is responsible for the bridge and carries out an inspection of it every two years.

Stefan Gawrysiak, who represents Henley on the council, said: “I know the structure is absolutely rock solid. It is not a danger to anybody and it is in a very good condition. Of course, residents have drawn the council’s attention to cosmetic damage to the bridge from a number of boats hitting it.

“In this case, if the owner of the boat is identified, then the council is entitled to claim from its insurance to repair the damage. This sort of damage happens more often than people might think. There are hundreds of boats going under the bridge every month. Two or three times a year, a boat will smack into the bridge.

“You would not expect the council to repair it every time a boat smacks into it but in this case they should assess the damage and go from there.”

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