'Ha'penny bridge' given a new lease of life

'Ha'penny bridge' given a new lease of life

PUBLIC-spirited folk in Mirfield have joined forces to revamp an eyesore bridge.

Around 30 people – including the Mayor and Mayoress of Kirklees – turned out at Wood Lane to prepare the dilapidated Battyeford Toll Bridge for painting.

Described as a ‘gateway’ into the town, residents and community groups have been lobbying to clean up the feature for over 15 years.

Andrew Dyson, from the Canal River Trust which owns the structure, known locally as ‘ha’penny bridge’, says the cost to repair it has always been too high due to its location.

But now, because of a long road closure on Wood Lane and Northgate, the trust received permission from Kirklees Council to give the bridge a makeover whilst road resurfacing work takes place.

The project has been organised by Andrew and Peter Davies, chairman of the Calder Navigation Society.

He said: “It’s a brilliant opportunity for the Canal River Trust and local community to get involved.

“It’s been an ongoing saga for a number of years regarding the condition (of the bridge). 

“The Canal River Trust has provided all the materials, such as paint, and local residents have also donated equipment. It’s a big collective effort from everybody and we’ve had a positive response from the people of Mirfield.”

Saturday marked the start of the work which was due to be completed yesterday (Thursday). 

A number of volunteers, including the Mirfield in Bloom group and South Pennine Boat Club, have been taking part.

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