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. www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk...
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
. . .
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
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
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?
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.
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)
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