Canal to be dredged after carrot lorry falls down bank

Part of a canal will have to be dredged and the bridge repaired after a large lorry carrying carrots crashed through a wall and fell down a bank into the water.

The crash happened in the Kennet & Avon canal early on Saturday along the A346 on a bridge near the village of Burbage. The road was closed and temporary traffic lights are in place.

The Canal & River Trust says it aims to re-open the waterway within a week to let boats through, but re-opening the towpath and restoring the bridge will take longer.

Rob Coles, the area operations manager for the east side of the canal, said he did not know how much it would cost to fix, but it would be a "significant" bill.

Mr Coles said the truck knocked down a 4m section of the bridge wall, which itself was about half a metre wide.

All the debris went straight into the canal: "We've got a navigation that should be around 1.2m deep and is now around ankle deep in the middle."

The trust is also dealing with an environmental clean up after diesel and oil leaked into the waterway too - "so we've managed to boon that off and soak it out" Mr Coles added.

He said there had been a "huge impact" to those who need to use the canal, so the priority was to get the waterway and towpath open first.

The bridge restoration would take a "lot longer", he added.

Mr Coles has asked people to avoid the area when walking: "The public right of way is closed. There's a lot of loose masonry there as well. Please let us complete our work as quickly as possible."

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