Hereford & Worcester

Bewdley Bridge reopens as flood barriers removed

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Media captionFarmer Steve Page has had to keep 1000 sheep inside

The main road bridge in a flood-hit Worcestershire town has reopened, the county council has said.

Environment Agency officials inspected Bewdley Bridge on Wednesday morning and decided to remove the flood barriers.

The bridge was closed for more than a week due to high levels in the River Severn, which still has nine flood warnings in place.

The agency said the demountable flood barriers at Beales Corner in Bewdley would also be removed.

Free parking

Elsewhere in the county, the river bridge at Upton-upon-Severn is now open but some traffic management was in place, including "stop/go" signs, the council said.

Up to three inches of water remain on the road but a convoy system which had been in operation on the bridge to limit motorists' speed has now ceased.

Hanley Road, a main route into the town, remains shut.

Image copyright Ian Hughes
Image caption Flood barriers in parts of Bewdley are being removed

The military-run shuttle service known locally as the "Upton Express", which had been ferrying people through the flood water, is also no longer running.

Wyre Forest District Council has said parking in Stourport-on-Severn and Bewdley would be free until Sunday, to encourage visitors during half term.

Council leader John Campion said: "We know that businesses need support at this time and we are doing everything we can to help."

In Worcester, Hylton Road has reopened.

Free parking would also be offered in one of Worcester's major car parks, the city council has announced. The multi-storey car park at St Martin's Gate will be free from Thursday until Sunday.

"Offering free parking during half-term week and at the weekend will support the message that Worcester is open for business," council leader Adrian Gregson said.

Blocked ditches

In the Diglis area of the city some residents are still dealing with raw sewage in their gardens, a week after the flood water arrived.

On Diglis Avenue every one of the 24 houses was flooded.

"We're going to be like this... possibly for another two or three months. Hopefully shorter than that, but going forward we just don't know at the moment," resident Roger Byrne said.

In Herefordshire, a local man has been clearing blocked ditches himself, to try and stop standing water from damaging the roads.

"We've got to the stage now where if we don't do something we'll have no roads to drive on at all," Michael Gardiner said.

"All we're doing is something that our local authority probably should have been doing over the last 25 to 30 years on an annual basis, and have failed to do so."

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