Protest song recorded to highlight frustrations over countryside bridge closure

Stan the Man has written a song about the bridge closure
Stan the Man has written a song about the bridge closure

Villagers are so sick of a bridge closure cutting them off for nearly four months that a song has been written and recorded to highlight their plight.

The bridge between Eydon and Culworth, near Blackbird Hill Farm, has been shut since a car crashed into it on April 2 - and the repairs could take more months to complete.

The car which caused the bridge damage by crashing into it

The car which caused the bridge damage by crashing into it

Businesses have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket, farmers cannot access their fields, vehicles of all sizes are forced to take long detours on unsuitable roads and residents worry about the possible delays for the emergency services.

Northamptonshire County Council is responsible for the repairs and said part of the reason for the delays is waiting for The Environment Agency to approve the work.

Local singer-songwriter Stan Shenton, also known as Stan the Man has composed, recorded and filmed a video for a song, called The Bridge Song, which he will be debuting at pubs in the two villages on Saturday.

“I was originally requested to perform for a Macmillan nurses charity event. And I wanted to write something about what’s happening locally, and so The Bridge Song was created," he said.

The road has been closed since April

The road has been closed since April

The closure is causing real frustration for the village - one business is feeling ‘livelihood-changing’ losses of revenue due to the closure.

Additional costs incurred by residents of Eydon alone is already in excess of £4,000, while one farmer is having to buy in hay because he cannot reach his field.

Eydon Action Group chairman Roddy Owen-Smith said: “I have continuously requested for a proactive and managed communication channel. Three months later this still has not been honoured.

“Many excuses and so-called reasons have been given regarding the delay. Communication has been almost non-existent.

"Cllr Ian Morris has been involved, as has Andrea Leadsom MP, but this was only after our volume communication with them.

"Little or no empathy, coupled with very little tangible substance or action received. Just words."

Ms Leadsom said a number of constituents have told her about their concerns over the bridge and she has met Mr Owen-Smith to discuss what more can be done.

She added: “I know there are grave concerns about the time it would take an emergency vehicle to attend the village, should it be necessary, and I have written to the council a number of times to stress the need for the repairs to be carried out urgently.”

A county council spokesman said the work will start in November and be completed by December - but Mr Owen-Smith has little confidence in the local authority given its financial difficulties.

The spokesman said: “Blackbrook Bridge between Eydon and Culworth has been struck by a vehicle causing significant structural damage and therefore a diversion has been put in place.

“As Blackbrook Bridge runs over a main river, repairs are subject to an ecological assessment and approval from The Environment Agency which can take a number of months to obtain.

“In the meantime, preparation work is underway and full repairs are expected to start in November, 2018, and to be completed by December, 2018.”

Stan will be performing his song at around 7pm in The Red Lion, Culworth, and 8pm in The Royal Oak, Eydon, on Saturday evening.