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Reader's letter: History keeps repeating itself

I was very interested to note the Advertiser’s front page story on the Kelham bypass and that money had been granted for its approval (Concern Raised Over A617 Bypass Scheme, Advertiser, March 4).

In November 2019, I wrote to the Advertiser with proposals for Newark bypass and said “given the many problems with Kelham Bridge over the years, and the costs involved in rebuilding it, I wonder whether it would be cheaper in the long run to build a new road and bridge that would skirt the southern boundary of Kelham Hall estate and with a new entrance.”

The costs involved relate to the many times the bridge has been damaged by lorries and, of course, more recently with flooding, which seems to happen quite regularly, the road has been shut, and needed long diversions.

Following the publication of the letter I received a letter from a reader who stated “this plan was done in the 1950s because the existing bridge was deemed too narrow for the traffic of the day. It was described as only being built for horse and cart many years before.

“Since then, planners, councillors ­— both in Newark and Nottinghamshire ­— plus various MPs have shoved it to one side and it is most likely lost altogether now.

“Your plan is exactly the same as the one made in the 1950s so don’t hold your breath that you will ever see a Kelham Bridge bypass.”

I am sure it would be useful if we actually knew how many days have been lost since the 1950s to today to the bridge being closed, either due to flooding or damage.

I also appreciate the concerns expressed by Peter Harris with regard to additional improvements to the A617 at both Hockerton and Kirklington.

Nevertheless, the improvements at Kelham seem to be the first priority and should be put in place as soon as possible. ­— A. M. WADDINGTON, The Meerings, Sutton-on-Trent.

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