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Freshford Mill Bridge Damage

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Freshford Mill bridge damaged in early September 2008 still a potential killer!

It is now january 2009. Although complaints have been made by our parish council about the damage to Freshford Mill bridge caused by a lorry trying to get to the A36 via the bridge and Rosemary lane that damage has still not been dealt with. Hazard tape was used to identify the loss of the bridge railings. I surmised that this hazard tape was an emergency measure to warn passers by of the danger. But there has been no attempt to restore the bridge railings to protect the public.  Furthermore this tape is now missing and there has been further damage to the railings supports, possibly caused by a reversing lorry that had realised a mistake had been made and had attempted a three point turn.

The photographs below are of the current state of the bridge. Apart from when the river Frome is in flood anyone falling off the bridge will most likely die as the river is rarely deep enough to cushion a fall. If the river is high then only a very powerful swimmer could survive falling in.

Freshford Mill Killer Bridge Damage

The missing railings also do not provide any protection for a vehicle which could also fall ten feet or more. I would not have thought that the occupants of any vehicle that went off the bridge into the river would also survive very long.

There is also the danger to anyone on horseback. This an area of the countryside where we have visitors, even in mid-Winter taking a short break and why not? Even at this time of year our countryside is beautiful. It is a shame that they are exposed to such a risk that could turn a pleasant country walk into a tragedy.

How long must we wait till this bridge is made safe? what acceptable explanation is there for not making this bridge safe within a few days? Let alone over three months?  Are the people who are responsible for public safety so ignorant and uncaring as to risk the lives of young children? what stranger would realise, even an adult that there is such a danger? I had to warn a couple with a pushchair and two youngsters who were about to cross over the bridge of the danger. By their reaction I realised that it was not obvious to them that there was such a danger.

What department of Bath and North East Somerset is responsible for this irresponsible lapse in duty of care? And perhaps more important who is being paid to do absolutely nothing?

Flood Watch in Operation for River Frome Somerset

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A flood watch is in operation for this area: Flood Watch South West

At 5:30pm the Staples Hill route into Freshford was flooded but passible. Fortunately, the tide at Avonmouth is low at this time of the month, being a mere 11m: Tide at Avonmouth


Freshford the Flood Plain

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The three photos below were taken on Saturday the 12th January 2008 after a couple of days of steady rain. Local rainfall amounts to 65mm for January so far.

This is Mill lane just beside Freshford Mill. The morning after the swollen river Frome deposited this tree trunk weighing possibly half a ton on the road.  Further down the lane the bridge is being cleared

But is still blocked. North of the mill the photo below shows the extent of the remaining flood.

At some time in the night the river Frome occupied the whole valley. Whilst at 11:00am the water had receded. The weather had also prompted the local authority to spread salt on the roads as there was a chance of ice.

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