A bridge too far: Local Authority engineers fail to respect National Park


An old slate clapper bridge over Afon Goch above Llanberis was destroyed in a storm in November 2013. It is hard to imagine anything more out of place and proportion than its new replacement, from the long and wide concrete base to the ridiculously high sides set at an architecturally elegant angle.

Overengineered and overspecified, this new bridge exemplifies what happens when a process is followed without the application of common sense.  This expensive-looking structure would not have been built if someone had asked one simple question – ‘What sort of bridge is appropriate to this mountainside in Snowdonia National Park?’

The old farm gate tacked on the end of the bridge just adds insult to injury, emphasising how incongruous the whole thing looks on this quiet bridleway and footpath. The gate also contravenes the British Horse Society’s guidelines for bridges on bridleways, so it really isn’t making anyone happy, except perhaps the bridge engineer, who is no doubt glowing with pride in an office somewhere.

Snowdonia Society is making enquiries about how this has happened.

If anyone has a picture of the old stone bridge we would be glad of it – it would be useful evidence in our efforts to get this eyesore replaced with something more appropriate to the location.  A similar situation occurred a few years ago when a very simple bridge at Crafnant was replaced by a high-sided atrocity.  With a great deal of determination, the Snowdonia Society eventually won the argument and a more acceptable bridge installed.

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