The swing bridge on Dock Place, behind Teuchters Landing, has mysteriously been closed and hopefully for repairs. This is an A-listed structure, which Historic Environment Scotland says is of special interest because designed around 1803, it is one of the oldest examples of a cast-iron swing bridge planned by the best engineers of the age. The Victoria Swing bridge, also an A listed building, is an even grander structure spanning the Water of Leith by the border with Forth Ports. This is of special interest as it is the largest counterweighted bridge in Scotland and the biggest in the world when built between 1871 and 1874.
At FOWLb we have been concerned about the steady decay of these structures and recently called Historic Environment Scotland to find out what could be done about their state of repair. They cannot confirm ownership of the bridges (which would breach the data protection act), although we have heard that Forth Ports is responsible for them. Edinburgh City Council may be able to push for better care to be taken of these important, locally and nationally, features.
We would encourage the Leith community to ask Forth Ports if they are responsible for the bridges, and if so then what plans exist for their repair and upkeep. We also suggest contacting the council to ask what it can do to maintain and enhance the bridges and better take pride and care of Leith’s heritage.
If any of us do have success in finding out what is planned for the bridges, please reply to this post and keep us all up to speed!