A section of the Grand Union Canal has been blocked in West London after a wooden footbridge collapsed into the waterway on Friday afternoon.
The bridge near Marnham Fields has been closed to pedestrians and fenced off in recent years after fears about its structural integrity which appear to have now been borne out.
Posting in the Ealing Wildlife Group's Facebook page, local resident Emma Chard-Cumming said: “Sometime late afternoon yesterday (17 March 2023) the beautiful single-span Green Oak bridge between Marnham Fields and Smiths Farm finally succumbed to the elements and lack of maintenance.
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"Authorities are aware, as this is not only a canal closure but also a towpath closure. Very sad to see but hopefully, this might speed up the installation of the new metal bridge planned by Ealing Council.”
Ealing Council, who own the bridge, had recently gained permission from the Canal and Rivers Trust to replace it, but attention from the council will now have to turn to removing the debris.
The Canal & River Trust has issued a 'stoppage' notice in relation to the collapse. They said: “Bridge 17A, a local authority owned footbridge, has collapsed and has blocked the navigation.
"The towpath remains open via a short local alternative route. The local authority is determining how the bridge can be removed."
An Ealing Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the disruption that this is causing to Canal users, and we are working with the Canal and River Trust to agree an action plan on removal of debris and sections of the bridge. We expect that works will start in the next 48 hours.”
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