Install warning signs instead of railings, historian says
Posted by Jason Nicholls.
A Hebden Bridge historian is leading the fight against the development of railings at one of the town's historic landmarks, feeling warning signs would be a much better solution.
Calderdale Council’s engineering services department have submitted plans to implement railings on the wall of the Black Pit Aqueduct, which runs over the River Calder, to protect cyclists at risk from the six metre drop below, the Hebden Bridge Times reports.
But Diana Monahan, a member of Hebden Bridge Local History Society, is against the idea, arguing that it would affect the aesthetics of the landmark and make it harder for boaters to use the canal.
"The parapet is parallel to the direction of travel of the cyclist so any forces involved in a collision would be unlikely to send them over the edge," she told the newspaper.
"If they are going so fast that they could fly over the parapet, I would rather cyclists did not use the towpath."
She added that in the 203-year history of the structure, there is no record of anyone ever falling over the parapet.
A better way of dealing with the issue, she feels, is to put up signs asking cyclists to dismount.
In an access statement as part of the council's application, environmental projects officer Anne Holdsworth was quoted by the newspaper as saying: "A risk assessment has been carried out and whilst the likelihood of a cyclist crashing at the right angle and sufficient speed to go over the wall at this particular point is low, the severity of the incident is very high, with a risk of death or permanent disability."
The aqueduct was built in 1795.
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