In a surprise move, the Secretary of State has ruled against a submission from the Grantham Canal Partnership being considered by a Public Inquiry relating to the widening of the A46 near Stragglethorpe, Nottinghamshire.
Alterations to the A46 had resulted in a new bridge being built to carry traffic over the canal near to the historic `Joshua Mann`s Bridge`. The Canal Partnership had argued that, as the Highways Agency had a responsibility to consider the navigability of the canal, they should have considered the need to raise Mann`s Bridge, which is affected by a culvert near Stragglethorpe. Their initial comments seemed to indicate that they thought the Agency`s failure to do so was purely an oversight that could be easily rectified.
The Secretary of State ruled that Mann`s Bridge lay outside the area of the roadworks and did not fall within the remit of the public inquiry.
There has been considerable media interest in the matter, including both TV and newspaper coverage.
The Canal Partnership is understandably disappointed, but because the ruling is very recent, have had little chance to take advice. It is unlikely there is any right of appeal, except through lobbying of MPs etc.
Background reading ;
`Snapshot`, 17 March 2010 at http://bookshelvesandbrownale.blogspot.com/
`Grantham Canal Hopes Thwarted by A46 Ruling`, 29 July 2010 at http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/
Other sources ;