The Council is the Highway Authority and the 'Bridge Authority'
for the bridges owned by the Council. The Council owns and is
responsible for around 1177 highway bridges, 843 footbridges,
745 culverts and 131 fords. There are also 326 owned by other
bridge owners/authorities and the largest of these are the Highway
Agency (trunk roads and motorway), Railtrack (railways), and
British Rail Property Board (disused railways).
18 of these bridges are designated as Ancient Monuments and 121
are listed buildings consent prior any maintenance works being
As a rule the bridge usually belongs to the organisation (or its
successor) that had cause to need the bridge in the first
place. Ownership of bridges has been transferred in some
cases, such as when the responsibility for a route changes.
The Council's bridges are inspected approximately every two
years producing a bridge condition score and a programme of
maintenance work is drawn up. Incidents of damage through vehicle
collision, storm damage, or other causes are investigated as soon
as possible. In the case of damage to bridges by vehicles,
reporting of the vehicle details may mean it is possible for the
Council to claim the cost of the repairs to the bridge or