GAZETTE COMMENT: Solution needed for historic at-risk tower

It’s been standing for centuries. Yet the historic Bondgate Tower is at risk of a serious collapse if it takes too many more hits from any of the hundreds of vehicles which pass through it on a daily basis.

Okay, the structure isn’t just going to topple down for no reason and the Northumberland Estates is keen to point out that it undergoes regular safety checks.

But vehicles clipping the tower, or getting stuck in the archway, are an all too familiar occurrence and sooner or later we could pay a heavy price.

The Estates are in talks with English Heritage and Northumberland County Council in a bid to find a solution – or solutions – to the issue and remove the tower from the at-risk register.

Time is clearly of the essence.

It has to be said, however, that drivers must also accept their share of responsibility. Those in larger vehicles must stop taking the risk of trying to fit through the arch when it isn’t possible, Perhaps better signage, warning of height and width restrictions are needed.

Whatever the answer, something needs to be done before it is too late.