Bridging the gap in defence

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In response to the letter headlined ‘What next for the river?’ from Robin Cooper (Herald, April 10), it appears that Robin and I have got it all wrong.

Neither of us is able to understand that drainage water must not be aided to flow to where it should be, ie in the sea.

The main drain must be restricted in order to create the need for flood walls and a dam to prevent that precious water from draining away naturally by gravity.

Mr Telford designed the bridge with three arches, knowing very well that there would never be sufficient rainfall for the need of the third arch.

Neither did he know that his bridge would be required to carry nearly 40 tonnes on six axles or that it would need traffic signals to cause the desired queuing of business people’s vehicles upon it.

But perhaps he would understand that eventually a replacement would be needed. We must remember that Morpeth and district is an area of missed opportunities.

The examples: Chances to reduce the risk of flooding by correctly and regularly maintaining the river by clearing and dredging.

The chance to provide more employment for local people by advocating the building of a nuclear power station at Druridge Bay.

The chance to purchase land at the south end of the obvious site for a replacement for the Telford Bridge.

The chance to keep in operation an excellent residential care home, The Mount. Where did the Castles Woods and Water award money go?

Now after a prolonged debate, our visitors face the hassle of having to walk a considerable distance to get a time disc to allow them to park for ‘free’.

We have anything and everything to cause inconvenience and extra expense for the Northumberland council taxpayer and visitor.

Never mind, Morpeth will still be the best place in the world in which to live or work for the next 137 years, so long as the dam at Mitford and those flood walls hold up or until those in authority do the correct thing and have the river properly cleared and maintained.

Would Morpeth business people not welcome more residential development?

But without first drastically improving the drainage efficiency of the river, the risk would be too great.

Norman Bateman,

by email