This link from the New Civil Engineer summarises the HE situation, with many quotes from engineers who have been deeply upset by HE’s actions:https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/ashamed-to-be-an-engineer-nce-readers-react-to-highways-england-bridge-infilling-15-07-2021/
This link illustrates a method of strengthening historic bridges using stainless steel reinforcements to leave the structure intact and strong:https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/infilling-historic-bridges-is-so-unnecessary-an-alternative-solution-for-highways-england-07-07-2021/
The steel reinforcement method is used by Goldhawk Bridge Restoration Ltd, which calls it ‘MARS’, an acronym of Masonry Arch Repair and Strengthening. The company has applied MARS to over 300 railway and road bridges across the country.
In the context of HE’s actions, David Kitching, CEO of Goldhawk, asked ‘What is going on?’ The answer lies in a ‘blunt instrument’ civil service protocol, which sees dormant railway structures as liabilities rather than potentially useful assets; and an organisation – Highways England – which, for reasons which can only be imagined, uses this protocol as justification for a blinkered mindset which produces institutional vandalism and the issuing of whitewash press releases and answers to parliamentary questions which are full of inaccuracies, omissions and even lies.
It is good to see Goldhawk joining the argument.