Oct 2021 – Bennerley Viaduct, Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire

On the recent Iron to Iron bike ride from Meldon Viaduct in Devon to Bennerley Viaduct (the only two such structures surviving in England), the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct were delighted to meet their patron, Sir Neil Cossons, at Ironbridge and share with him the remarkable progress which has been made over the past few years to bring the viaduct back into use. In return, Sir Neil spoke of the battles undertaken in the 1970s, 80s and 90s to save the viaduct from demolition, vividly recalling the bruising public inquiry in 1980. It is often stated that the reason that Bennerley Viaduct is still standing is because it was too expensive to demolish. It is true that the demolition costs were high but the real reason why the viaduct is still standing is because people got off their backsides and campaigned to save it. The current project builds on their work and far-sighted vision. The third phase of the Bennerley Viaduct Project has commenced. The viaduct’s owners, Railway Paths Ltd (RPL) have appointed the civil engineering company, Crown Plus, to install the deck. The contractors are on site, the crane is in position and work has commenced. The wrought iron troughs are being coated with linseed oil and steps on the eastern end of the viaduct are being constructed. Formal opening is planned for 2022, 55 years after the closure of the railway. (Friends of Bennerley Viaduct)