Downholland – The strange Rimmer’s Bridge destruction event

This is the base of the bridge control cabinet which was completely destroyed in the incident.

As bizarre criminal events go this is one of the oddest I have come across in a long time. Here’s the take on it from Ormskirk Live:-

ormskirklive.com/2019/04/24/police-appeal-to-info-after-major-damage-to-canal/

And here’s the matter as on Ormskirk Police Facebook Page:-

Looking north from Rimmer’s Bridge.

The obvious question is why go to so much trouble to cause so much damage to a canal swing bridge out in rural West Lancashire? The bridge is accessed via Eagar Lane Lydiate or Green’s Lane Downholland and I cycle over it regularly, indeed I took the photos in this posting on Sunday 28th April whilst out riding.

Was it a planned and deliberate act to stop the bridge from being opened for boats, narrow boats and barges on the Leeds Liverpool Canal? If so why? Someone with a grudge against the Canal & River Trust or is there some alternative reason for this very costly destruction?

As I say one of the most bizarre criminal incidents that I can recall. I guess it’s going to be a real eye opener when the culprits are caught and taken to court.

Leeds Liverpool Canal swing bridges – They can be troublesome

As the Leeds Liverpool canal winds its way through the south and east of Sefton Borough a number of swing bridges are encountered.

Barge at Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull

Barge at Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull

They were constructed in this way to save money; the alternative being far more expensive stone bridges. Thinking of the stretch of the canal through Sefton’s East Parishes communities there are swing bridges for example at the following locations:-

Wango Lane, Hall lane, Shop lane, Green Lane, Bells Lane

It is not unusual for the bridges to be out of service due to mechanical breakdowns which can cause frustrations for boaters and vehicle drivers alike. One of the problems is that some vehicles are driven over the swing bridges that are too heavy. Indeed, I once saw a massive tractor being driven across the Green Lane swing bridge (otherwise known as Methodist Turnbridge – which was allegedly blown up by the IRA on one occasion) with only about an inch to spare on either side between it and the bridge sides. Clearly the vehicle should not have been anywhere near the bridge and surprise surprise it was soon out of action. Drivers of heavy vehicles will know they should not cross these bridges if they are too heavy but I assume they don’t care and do it anyway.

But this is not a new problem, just look at this photo of a Leeds Liverpool Canal notice (in cast iron) which I saw at the national Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port:-

llc-notice-1-nwm-ellesmere-port

Click on the photo to enlarge it

The second photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Cyclists/Car Drivers – the best and the worst – Maghull and Netherton

I am both a car driver and a cyclist so I can see both points of view. The reality is that there are poor car drivers and poor cyclists.

A week last Sunday I cycled over the Hall Lane canal swing bridge in Maghull east to west and just as I left the bridge another cyclist came onto the bridge travelling west to east. The next I knew (behind me) was the other cyclist shouting at a car driver who had followed me onto the bridge and all but knocked the cyclist off his bike by trying to squeeze past him!

Clearly the car driver was in the wrong and should have apologised to the cyclist but no, he wound down his window and issued a hurl of verbal abuse aimed at the cyclist he had nearly collided with because of his impatience!

The following Tuesday I found myself almost colliding with a cyclist on Dunningsbridge Road at the traffic light by the Park Hotel. I was driving west to east towards the traffic lights and saw a cyclist on the adjacent cycle track travelling the same direction as I was. Trouble is the cycle track ends abruptly here and the cyclists are in effect forced into the road.

I expected the cyclist to slow down and watch for the traffic he was merging into but no he simply flew into the lane I was in cutting me up on his bike. I had to swerve to avoid hitting him and it was a close shave indeed. But what did the cyclist do but give me the two fingered salute! His only defence was that there are no ‘give way’ markings where the cycle track merges with the road but you would have thought self preservation would have made him look before he shot out into the traffic. He will not live long pulling such stunts on the busy Dunningsbridge Road. Next time it could be a huge lorry with him sadly underneath it!

Just goes to prove my point that there are poor drivers and poor cyclists.