Kirtlebridge farmer mounts legal challenge over plans to fill bridge archway with concrete

A farmer is mounting a legal challenge over plans to infill in Kirtlebridge near Lockerbie with concrete.

Iain Gow claims blocking the archway will cut off access to his land for cattle and tractors.

The bridge has been standing for 170 years and needs repairs.

Highways England, which looks after thousands of the UK's historical bridges, plans to fix the deteriorating condition by filling the arches with concrete.

This was done recently with this one at Great Musgrave in Cumbria, and is the cheapest option to make the structure safe.

A further 69 structures have been earmarked for possible infilling, which has led to a growing rebellion.

In a statement, Highways England said: "The condition of the bridge has deteriorated. Repointing the bridge again would have ongoing maintenance costs. Infilling is maintenance-free and reversible, lowering costs to the public purse.

"We are continuing to discuss the issue with the landowner to try to find a solution. The rights to infill were clearly set out at the time of purchase."