Listed bridge ‘nearing collapse’ due to HGVs

Twyford Wharf bridge has suffered damage. Concerned local resident, Nigel Wood. NNL-150809-143206009
Twyford Wharf bridge has suffered damage. Concerned local resident, Nigel Wood. NNL-150809-143206009

A 200-year-old bridge between Adderbury and King’s Sutton is on the verge of collapse following excessive use by HGVs driving across it, it has been claimed.

The Grade II-listed structure forms part of a conservation area next to Twyford Wharf and hundreds of lorries pass over the bridge every day to the nearby Cherwell Valley Silos or to ongoing construction sites in King’s Sutton.

Adderbury resident Nigel Wood lives near the bridge on Twyford Wharf and recognised the recent damage to the bridge after a farming vehicle drove over it last Friday.

Mr Wood said: “The bridge is in a very distressed state and there are no restrictions to the amount of traffic that can go over it. There is no other way for trucks to go so they keep on coming down this road and it is not good enough for these large vehicles to be travelling on.

“In the last four to five years the council have said they are short in the budget to repair these roads. The last job on this road was nearly a year ago so why can’t they just do the job properly in the first place?”

A Southern Gas engineer visited the site on Monday to check the gas pipes underneath the bridge due to safety concerns with lorries going over the bridge and Mr Wood is frustrated at the amount of traffic using the road every day

He added: I feel that the Twyford Road is regarded as a rural backwater and so the bridge has been allowed to deteriorate to the point where we can now see what is inside it.

“I initially phoned South Northamptonshire Council to complain about the noise but was then told it was a Cherwell District Council matter because the bridge is in their district. But as the two councils work together I thought it was ludicrous. I fear that the repairs the authorities will do will only fill the bridge with extra strengthening material. It just isn’t good enough for the kind of damage that it has taken.”

Because the bridge is a listed structure, Cherwell District Council will also be consulted on what work needs to be done to get the bridge back in working order.

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council, which maintains the highways and roads in the county, said: “There are already repair blocks around the bridge and we are looking to have a one-day road closure to allow a stonemason to remove the coping stones from the bridge. We will then have another one-day road closure to carry out the repairwork but a date for this has not yet been confirmed.”

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