§ Mr. O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy that any road works for which he is responsible which pass over a navigable waterway will include a culvert to allow river craft to pass without obstruction; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Atkins
It is my right hon. Friend's general policy to design and construct bridges over navigable waterways so as to enable river craft to pass without obstruction so far as is reasonable. When designing new bridges, our practice is to consult the navigation authority. It is sometimes reasonable not to provide for the unfettered continuation of use, for example where a navigation is little used by craft of larger sizes. Restrictions to navigation may then be imposed, either permanently or during the course of the construction. Such restrictions may range from minor restrictions on draught up to more major interference. Powers relating to the construction of bridges over navigable waters and powers relating to diversions of navigable and non-navigable water courses are contained in part VI of the Highways Act 1980.