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Bromyard Road to be closed for nearly 4 months PDF Print E-mail
Written by A. Cyclist   
Wednesday, 19 September 2018 09:51

The B4214 Bromyard Road will be closed from 1st November until 22nd February next year(!!) to allow 'Demolition and deck replacement of Storesbrook Bridge' (ie. the 'Iron Bridge' over the Leadon at the 'S' bend near the junction with Rhea Lane, which was built in 1901 and has 'reached the end of its working life', having rusted seriously).  Rhea Lane will also be closed for the duration (presumably to prevent a rat-run, but access to premises will be maintained).  Update 11th October: The start date has been postponed until 28th November with completion now due by 28th February - a miraculous reduction to 13 weeks.  The reason given is to allow farmers to complete harvesting late crops, though the fact that the A417 near the Trumpet crossroads, which is part of the 'official' diversion, will be resurfaced between 21st and 27th November might have something to do with it...

Access to industry and other premises on the B4214 nearer Ledbury will remain from the railway bridge and Wellington Heath (via Beggars Ash) - the actual closure will be from the junction with Burtons Lane (which goes up the hill past Withers fruit farm) to the junction with Rhea Lane.

That this will cause chaos is an understatement, given the sparse remainder of the road network due north of Ledbury is narrow lanes.  Herefordshire Council, from its own survey, admits an average of over 3200 vehicles cross the bridge daily.  Bosbury in particular will be badly affected by this - over half the children from there go to school in Ledbury.  Its Parish Council held an 'extraordinary meeting' on 17th September, at which a representative of Herefordshire Council was asked a number of questions including:

Why this will take so long (especially since the new bridge will be prefabricated off-site);

Why the parish council had received notification by email only 10 days earlier; and

Why no temporary Bailey bridge could be installed during works.  The Portal has since heard from two independent (though unsubstantiated) sources that the Royal Engineers had offered to install one free of charge to give their personnel some practice, but this offer was turned down by Herefordshire Council.

A report from their clerk appears here.

Herefordshire Council has been very quiet over this; on 11th October there were no notices, as is usual in such situations, on the road to state times of closure.  As of the same date there was no mention of this closure on the relevant Traffic Regulation Orders page of that council's website - it is a legal requirement for a TRO to be in place before a road can be closed.  There is some information here, which suggests the official diversion will be via the A438 (to the Trumpet) / A417 (to Newtown) / A4103 to rejoin the B4214 at the foot of Fromes Hill.  This will almost double the distance - an increase from 6.4 miles to 11.2 miles.

Although HC recognises shorter routes via small roads are extremely likely to become rat runs, it does not appear to have any plans in hand (apart from attempting to stop up Rhea Lane) to prevent this.  Cyclists will risk (at best) fighting for space against 4-wheel drives on the lanes - Bosbury Council was told the bridge will be closed to all, including cyclists and pedestrians.  This is unacceptable: whilst the bridge carrying the B4215 across Preston Brook was being repaired some years back, a temporary bridge was built nearby for these users.

Up-to-date information is most likely to be found on this page of Herefordshire Council's website, which is linked to  Zoom in and select 'Next 3 months'.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2018 20:48