It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Belmont Viaduct Sustainable Transport Link North East England

page: 1

log in


posted on Feb, 2 2017 @ 02:45 AM
Belmont Viaduct was designed by Thomas Elliot Harrison. It carried rail traffic for a hundred years, then it became a vital connection for pedestrians. Grazing animals used to keep it clear of trees, but since the security fences were erected the trees have colonised. A photograph at this link shows the size of some of the trees.

. . . Thomas Elliot Harrison was a great all-rounder, in the mould of such giants of our Victorian engineering heritage as the Stephensons, the Brunels, et al.

He was a well known arbitrator.

As an arbitrator, on account of his vast experience, his sound judgment, and his unimpeachable integrity, Mr. Harrison’s services were in constant request. A reference to his private papers shows that at one time or another he was consulted by nearly every railway company in Great Britain and Ireland.

It's a shame he isn't with us now to settle this issue.

The proposed redevelopment of Belmont Viaduct was offered £500,000 as part of a £50m cash pot awarded to transport charity Sustrans through ITV’s People’s Millions show. But the money was dependent on the county council being able to secure land at Belmont, which, a spokesman said, has not been possible “despite significant effort”.

. . .

The council was unable or incapable depending on your view to negotiate passage across a particular landowner’s land to ensure that the viaduct project could go ahead.

We are assured council chiefs looked at other options for the viaducts future.

Council chiefs say they have not abandoned the project, but have begun looking at other options for the viaduct’s future.

It seems the option they chose was to allow the trees to tear the structure apart.

I was on the viaduct during Storm Barbara. I crawled through the heather to avoid getting blown over the side. Near the middle I lay down next to a group of birch trees. When the big gusts hit I could feel movement underneath me. I assume this was just the ballast moving with the roots, but the roots will be starting to penetrate the brickwork and stonework. It could only be a matter of time before the structure of the viaduct was dangerously weakened.

A group of trees in the middle had been cut down before my visit. Several more have been cut down since. The viaduct will be preserved for future use, as long as those opposing it's use don't go as far as blowing up a section.

Apologies for the atrocious quality of the video. It's the only camera I had with me and I haven't worked out how to video edit on my new computer. I hope someone will go there with a decent camera soon and document the condition of this valuable asset.

edit on 2 2 2017 by Kester because: (no reason given)

edit on 2 2 2017 by Kester because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2017 @ 03:04 AM
a reply to: Kester

If you ask me it's a disgrace.

The Victoria viaduct on the Wear, built by the same man is not really in use either. They are building a new bridge near it too.

Feats of engineering left into total disregard.

Grade II list them, then leave them as art work... Might as well use them or blow them up if you ask me.
edit on 2-2-2017 by RAY1990 because: Readability

posted on Feb, 2 2017 @ 04:51 AM
the treatment meted out to such disused railway infrastructure is very unpredictable

some bits [ like the monsal trail in the peeks ] are very well managed

but others are disgracefully neglected
edit on 2-2-2017 by ignorant_ape because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2017 @ 07:14 AM
Lots of disused railway infrastructure in my neck of the woods has been incorporated into urban and rural cycle/walking routes. it is an effective way of preserving it and keeping it useful, while encouraging healthy activity. Could this viaduct be made to serve in this fashion?

posted on Feb, 2 2017 @ 11:54 AM
a reply to: Kester
The statement "the council was unable or incapable is complete BS. County councils have a remit to be able to compulsory purchase land, for the going rate. the only excuse they could use is they have not got the money to purchase the land.
This raises a important issue, just who owns the land? If it was you or me they would just take it. But what if its crown land?
This is the ONLY real stumbling block to start the HS2. The major landowners are not against it (though they like you to think otherwise) it is only because they want more money than their land is worth.
By the way I do not agree to the HS2 as I see no real reason for it, apart from greasing some constructors pockets.

posted on Feb, 3 2017 @ 12:52 AM
a reply to: crayzeed

The BS bit means something's hidden.

The decades old bypass scheme suggests one option of converting the viaduct to road use. Already done with a similar viaduct locally. But certain to be problematical, mining subsidence will be an issue.

I can't see this crack being a threat to walkers or cyclists. It appears to be old. But it does suggest subsidence may accelerate with traffic vibration. One source says they had to go down eighty feet with some of the footings due to uncharted mine workings.

Possibly they want it to become structurally unstable then demolish it and build a concrete bridge.

I believe the land over which access was denied is owned by one farm. Poaching, theft, loss of livestock and damage to crops must have hit them hard over the years. They are highly concerned with farm security.

They're also sitting on a lot of coal.

edit on 3 2 2017 by Kester because: (no reason given)

top topics

log in