Milestone Society - for Highways Engineers
Highways Agency Confirms Commitment to Old Milestones
(Extract from The Institute of Civil Engineers Panel for Historical Engineering Works Newsletter Number 135 September 2012)
Article By Alan Reade
Old milestones lurking in hedgerows along roads following the routes of eighteenth / early nineteenth century turnpike roads are surprisingly commonplace for those interested in looking (with appropriate risk assessments and safety measures in place of course).
County Highways organisations responsible for "normal" roads tend to be protective of their heritage way markers and generally react quickly and effectively to losses or damage to milestones (usually caused by road traffic accidents or hedge-cutting plant and machinery) especially those classified by English Heritage (EH) as "listed buildings".
Many old stone milestones and metal mileposts remain, however alongside trunk roads which are under the management of the Highways Agency (HA) and it is therefore particularly welcome that HA has confirmed its commitment to a Memorandum of Understanding with EH which sets out the responsibilities of the parties with regard to the repair and maintenance of these remarkable survivors of a boom period of major national civil engineering construction some 200 years ago. The development of a management plan by HA for this purpose is "on-going".
Founded in 2001 by a small group of civil engineering, conservation and heritage enthusiasts, the Milestone Society has blossomed into a national organisation with county representatives across the country who aim to give "back-room" practical assistance to financially-strapped highways authorities, including repair maintenance and replacement advice to raise awareness and help keep this stock of "secret" heritage artefacts largely intact and in place for the benefit of future generations.
To make contact with the Milestone Society go to www.milestonesociety.co.uk or telephone John Atkinson on 01299 832338.