Oundle's North Bridge repairs to start after cash-crisis delay

Image source, Geograph / Tony Bennett
Image caption,
The council placed a three-tonne weight limit on a damaged bridge that it could afford to repair in 2018

Work on a Grade II listed 16th Century bridge will go ahead after a delay caused by a council's cash crisis.

The North Bridge in Oundle closed to heavy goods vehicles in May last year after Northamptonshire County Council said it did not have the £750,000 needed to repair it.

Seven of the 13 arches were deficient, according to a 2014 report.

Councillor Jason Smithers said he was "delighted" government money had been made available and work could begin.

The project had "long been anticipated" but had been delayed by planning issues as well as financing problems.

Image caption,
The Station Road bridge is Oundle's closest link to the A605

Work is due to start on 11 November and would last 30 weeks, the Conservative-run local authority said.

Most of the work would be carried out under the bridge, which should not disrupt motorists.

The road is Oundle's shortest link to the A605, which provides access to the A14 and A1.

The work was delayed when government-appointed commissioners were sent in to oversee the county council due to its financial crisis.

New spending was twice banned in 2018, and the council, along with district and borough councils, will be replaced by two unitary authorities in April 2021.

On Monday, Northamptonshire County Council published its last draft budget, announcing £23.2m of cuts.

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