Wey and Arun canal trust backs down over parapets

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Eyesore barriers on a Wey and Arun canal bridge at Loxwood have been replaced with traditional brick parapets.

The canal trust was forced to get rid of the original 1.8m galvanised steel fences after an outcry from villagers.

They complained the barriers, installed in 2009, were more in keeping with a prison environment.

Now, however, scaffolding around the replacement project, which began in April, has come down to reveal brick and rail parapets which residents find more pleasing to the eye.

The trust installed the bridge barriers at Loxwood High Street over a restored section of the waterway. It said they had to be higher than normal to meet highway concerns about the safety of horses and riders as the bridge is part of a bridleway.

But the public outcry was so fierce that, despite spending more than £13,000 on the metal barriers, it was agreed they had to go.

Sally Schupke, chairman of the Wey and Arun Canal Trust, said: “Following considerable negotiation with local residents, represented by Loxwood Parish Council and the Loxwood Society, as well as Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council, we worked to replace the motorway-style barrier with a more sympathetic solution, in keeping with the location and planning guidance.

“Work by Sussex-based Concept Building Services to replace the steel fence started in April and was completed ahead of schedule on June 1.”

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