In your article on Boxted Bridge, Essex Highways cites as a reason for replacing the existing bridge that “large vehicles, including fire service vehicles, cannot manoeuvre safely” (Gazette, November 17, “‘Save our historic and loved bridge’”).

The bridge and its approaches can comfortably accommodate any of the fire engines deployed in this area and using them as an argument for replacing the bridge is dishonest, as is the implication that the bridge needs to “safely handle two lanes of modern traffic” when the roads leading to it in either direction are all single lane.

If, as Essex Highways claims, the existing bridge has been allowed to deteriorate to the point where replacing it would be easier and cheaper than repairing it, the replacement should be an identical copy of the existing perfectly adequate and much loved example, thus saving the cost to the taxpayer of designing and obtaining planning permission for something that will radically alter the appearance of this part of the AONB for no good reason.

Chas Bazeley