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SPEEDING motorists are being warned to slow down when crossing the historic bridge over Tardebigge Tunnel, following a number of serious incidents.

The Canal and River Trust charity, which maintains 2,800 historic bridges, is highlighting the plight of the bridge as part of the campaign to protect the 200 year old hump-back bridges spanning the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

In the last five years the charity say there have been three incidents of major damage at the bridge over the tunnel, with most recent repairs having to be completed in August.

The trust say the bridge, as well as the rest across the canal, were built for the passage of horse-drawn carts, not for today’s speeding motorists.

The majority of accidents are hit and run, leaving the trust unable to recoup the cost of the damage from drivers’ insurers, diverting vital funds away from work to conserve the nation’s waterways.

The trust has taken the unprecedented step of installing its first CCTV to catch motorists at an accident hump-back hot spot, the Causall Bridge, near Kidderminster.

And the trust has not ruled out, if the trial proves successful, installing sensors at other hotspots including Tardebigge Tunnel.

Nigel Crowe, from the Canal and River Trust, said: “These bridges are unique, many are listed as being of special architectural or historical significance, and when damaged they need to be painstakingly repaired at considerable cost.

“Frankly, if motorists just slowed down a bit and took more care and attention then they would stop this daily vandalism of our heritage.”