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Minister confirms British Waterways funding reduction discussions

December 11, 2007 3:00 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has received confirmation through a parliamentary question that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are in discussion with British Waterways about reducing their funding for the next three years. Jonathan Shaw, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Rural Affairs confirmed that there were ongoing discussions about delivering an 'affordable and sustainable network'.

Mr Farron has expressed concern about the future of Crooklands Bridge, a well-used route between the A65 and the Kent Estuary is crucial to the local area, which has been damaged a number of times and the cost of repairing the bridge falls on British Waterways.

Tim Farron said:

"The news that the British Waterways budget is likely to be cut does not bode well for the future of Crooklands Bridge and the restoration of the Lancaster Canal.

"The Crooklands road to and from Milnthorpe and the Kent Estuary is a very important route. These funding cuts make it all the more important that the County Council takes responsibility for protecting the bridge to enable repairs to take place and to prevent future damage."