Month: April 2016

I’m not superstitious, so I don’t think that Friday the 13th is bad luck. Anyway, it the latest predicted date for the reopening of Ludford Bridge after it was hit by a reversing tarmac truck nearly ten weeks ago. Work is in progress to complete the stonework up to the parapet. This should be complete by Friday. Coping stones will then need to be laid. These will be prepared over the May bank holiday weekend. The expectation is that the scaffolding will be removed Tuesday to Thursday next week (3-5 May). The coping stones will be laid during the next two days.

Today Shropshire Council made the wrong decision. I fear it will damage trade in Ludlow over the next week. This is Mayfair week. It is the greatest spectacle in town. I love the arrival of the rides on Wednesday afternoon and evening. For the biggest rides, it takes a good while to get through the chicane between the historic Buttercross and Bodenhams. People line the streets to watch.  The fair brings excitement and life to the town and attracts thousands of visitors. The problem we face this year is that Ludford Bridge will be closed.

There is an air of excitement around Ludlow. The May Fair rolls in on Wednesday night. It is the highlight of the year for many people in the town. The arrival of the fair means the town centre will be closed from Thursday to Monday – High Street, the Market area and the top of Mill Street. But there is bad news from the crew repairing Ludford Bridge. Work will not be finished before next weekend as planned. That could mean the bridge is closed over one of the busiest weekends in Ludlow’s calendar.

Ludlow has suffered serious damage from flooding over the years. The floods of 2007 swept away Burway Bridge and an adjacent house. There has been a lot of work to improve Ludlow’s flood resilience since then. This does not mean that Ludlow is free from flood risk. Rapidly rising rivers and flash flooding from fields and roads still pose a threat. Our climate is changing and deluges of rain are becoming more common. Ludlow is expanding with several hundred new homes expected to be built in the next ten years. As public funds run short, management of river banks and waterways is being reduced. This can only increase flood risk.

Update 3 May 2015 There is good news from the area of outstanding natural beauty. Currently, the AONB is managed from within Shropshire Council. Two weeks ago, the members of the AONB Partnership unanimously agreed to pursue independence. That approach has now been supported by Shropshire Council. A threat to make the AONB manager redundant has been withdrawn. This is a good move. Both the Chilterns and Cotswolds AONBs are overseen by conservation trusts. These have proved to be strong, independent voices on behalf of the landscape and the people who live and work in it. Main article 16 April 2016 It is our task to look after our fragile planet and landscapes for future generations but at times this task is not easy. Take solar farms. They help us in our battle against climate change but can despoil precious landscapes. That’s why I am disappointed that a planning inspector approved a solar farm at Acton Scott in the heart of the Shropshire Hills area of outstanding natural beauty. It is better that these developments are on brownfield sites, like the solar farm being built at Bromfield. There are greater threats to the AONB than incongruous developments. Shropshire Council is…

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