Hereford & Worcester

Upton-upon-Severn bridge painted the wrong colour

Upton-upon-Severn bridge
Image caption The bridge was painted yellow instead of duchess blue with a gold trim

Shopkeepers in Worcestershire fear they will lose thousands of pounds in trade due to a council bridge painting error.

The county council held a six-week public consultation in August and asked people which colours they wanted the Upton-upon-Severn bridge to be painted.

The chosen colour scheme was duchess blue with a gold trim, but it was mistakenly painted yellow.

The council plans to repaint it but traders fear they will lose revenue due to partial bridge closures.

Worcestershire County Council said the work should not cause any extra disruption.

'Horrendous traffic'

The authority took the opportunity to paint the bridge while it was carrying out scheduled reinforcement work in the autumn.

Three-way traffic lights were installed in October for the works and the bridge only fully reopened on Friday.

Bob Kay, owner of the Spar shop in the high street, said he lost £6,000 per week during the bridge work.

He said: "Passing trade fell off you see because it took about five to 10 minutes to get into Upton.

"The traffic was all backed up. It was horrendous and people just didn't bother coming into town if they didn't have to."

As a result of the disruption, local shopkeepers held two emergency meetings about the bridge work and have now decided to form a local traders' association, of which Mr Kay is a member.

'Leave it alone'

He said: "The council should have known the bridge was being painted the wrong colour. They should have sent someone out to inspect it as we had all assumed it was just an undercoat."

The council said the yellow did "not meet expectations".

It said it would have the bridge repainted in the new year to coincide with planned resurfacing works, originally scheduled for December but postponed to avoid disruption to businesses during the festive shopping period.

Jon Fraser, the council's community manager, said repainting should not cause any extra disruption for traders.

Mr Kay said traders strongly doubted repainting could be carried out at the same time as resurfacing.

"They made a mistake didn't they? They should just leave it alone now. What is done is done. Better that than prolonged closures and more disruption to trade," he added.

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