The campaign to save Blackhouse Bridge moved from the internet into the newspaper. It was covered in the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser of April 13th and you can read about it here.
The Advertiser are seeking opinions on whether the bridge should be saved, and you can email them to Gordon Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had a letter published in last weeks Advertiser about rights of way in the area, and I’ll reproduce it below. I also had a letter expressing similar sentiments published in the May issue of TGO magazine.
In times where the economy dictates that we tighten our belts, one of the first budgets to suffer is that which looks after outdoor access. This is one of the poorest funded areas at the best of times, and the effect of cuts here is even more noticeable. A few examples have become apparent in this area in the last few weeks alone. Two rights of way are under threat of closure, because the local authorities’ first instinct is not to spend money. The first, as previously reported in The Advertiser is in Plains and is apparently suffering from fly tipping and anti social behaviour. Rather than clean the route up and maintain it so that the route remains open for all to use, the local council propose to close it. The cheap option mentality is applied to small local issues, while vanity projects soak up millions of pounds of public money.
Even more damaging will be the loss of Blackhouse Bridge, between Monks Glen Estate and Gartness. This bridge has been here for over a hundred years and is now in need of major repairs. The councils view is that in the present economic climate it is not worth repairing, and have scheduled it for demolition. Even worse, they have no plans to install a replacement bridge. Should the bridge be demolished it could mean closing the right of way, which provides a safe, traffic free route towards Airdrie (which is important as the road from Gartness to Chapelhall has no pavements), and it could also mean that access to the woodland here is lost, an area which is populated by deer and other wildlife, and is visited regularly by local families, birdwatchers, walkers and anglers. I was brought here as a child and have been coming here for over thirty years now and it would be criminal to allow access to be lost because of short term penny pinching.
Once these rights of way are gone, they are in all likelihood gone forever, so it is vitally important that if you object to these rights of way being lost that you contact your local councillors and let them know that you wish to see them retained, for this and future generations.