A bridge is a structure carrying the highway over a river, canal, railway, motorway, etc, or, carrying a railway, motorway, etc over the highway.
The Council is the Highway Authority and the 'Bridge Authority' for the bridges owned by the Council. The Council owns and is responsible for around 425 highway bridges. There are also other bridge owners/authorities and the largest of these are the Highway Agency (trunk roads and motorway), Network Rail (railways), British Rail Property Board (disused railways), the Environment Agency (main rivers) and British Waterways Board (canals). As a rule the bridge usually belongs to the organisation (or its successor) that had cause to need the bridge in the first place. Ownership of bridges has been transferred in some cases, such as when the responsibility for a route changes.
The Council's bridges are inspected routinely and a programme of maintenance work is drawn up. Incidents of damage through vehicle collision, storm damage, or other causes are investigated as soon as possible. In the case of damage to bridges by vehicles, reporting of the vehicle details may mean it is possible for the Council to claim the cost of the repairs to the bridge or culvert.
Telephone: 01443 494700