Village bridge work restarts

Great Hanging Bridge,
Great Hanging Bridge,
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Croston is set for more closure misery as bridge repair work starts again.

Last summer, residents and business owners in the village suffered severe disruption for six months when major work on the 18th century Great Hanging Bridge began.

However, the £750,000 Lancashire County Council scheme could not be completed due to continuously high river levels during the wet summer.

The completion work began again yesterday and will go on for a fortnight.

Last year, locals complained the village was cut off and businesses were affected.

They were furious the work had been scheduled for the busy summer months.

Croston parish councillor Kath Almond accepted the timescale for the work was a lot shorter this time, but said: “It will still cause a lot of disruption.

“I bet a lot of people don’t know about it. It gets the village congested, but people don’t know and use sat navs.

“It will upset the businesses again, I’m sure.

“For a short period it will mean traffic is coming down and turning round.”

Helen Stevenson, landlady at The Grapes pub, Town Road, said: “Unfortunately the county council didn’t inform us, but residents have.

“They did the same last year, they didn’t even let us know, we found out the day before from someone else.

“They sent letters to the parish council and residents but not businesses so we couldn’t be proactive.”

She said she had asked the county council if the work could be done at a better time but was told it couldn’t.

However she said the diversion route this time was a better one.

“It’s a more sensible route, last time they were sending traffic up to Leyland which meant it missed us completely,” she said. “My only concern is people will think, ‘oh that’s happening again’.

“But it’s only two weeks this time and hopefully Croston will soon be back to business as normal.”

Ray Fong, owner of Westhead fish and chip shop, in Westhead Road, Croston, said: “Last time it was six months and it was really bad for business.

“I think we dropped about a third in business.”

Drivers are being warned of diversions.

Meadow Lane (A581) will be closed until Friday, July 4, while the final touches are made by installing anchors to stabilise the bridge piers and prevent them being eroded.

Traffic will be diverted via Bretherton along the A581 Meadow Lane, A581 Croston Road, Rufford, A59 Liverpool Road, Tarleton, A59 Windgate, Tarleton, B5247 Carr House Lane, Bretherton, B5247 South Road, Bretherton, B5247 Flag Lane, Bretherton, B5247 Bretherton Road, B5249 Moor Road, A581 Highfield Road, A581 Town Road, A581 Westhead Road, A581 Meadow Lane and vice versa. Access across the bridge will be maintained for cyclists and pedestrians.

Rob Goulding, highways manager, said: “Croston was affected more than most places by the exceptionally wet weather last summer, which also meant we couldn’t gain access to finish these works.

“We’re sorry for the inconvenience and very grateful for people’s patience while we close Meadow Lane again for a short period.

“Great Hanging Bridge is hundreds of years old and this final bit of work is vital to make sure it’s still there for future generations.”

Varying tides affecting the river level mean some work may be carried out at night but engineers will do their best to keep noise to minimum.

High water levels will mean that no work can be carried out at all on some days.

Large signs have been posted on the A59 to let passing traffic know Croston remains open for business. said LCC.

Great Hanging Bridge carries the A581 Meadow Lane over the River Douglas.