Government allocates £1.3m for crucial bridge repairs in Oundle

North Bridge in Station Road, Oundle (Picture: Google)
North Bridge in Station Road, Oundle (Picture: Google)

The Government has set aside £1.3 million for key repairs to a major route into Oundle.

Northamptonshire County Council confirmed it has received £6.772m for road maintenance, which is part of a wider £420m allocated by the Treasury to local authorities across the country.

Of the amount handed to the county council, £1.3m must be used to repair and strengthen North Bridge in Oundle.

Town councillor and Oundle resident Val Chesser said she felt delight and relief at the news.

"I have always been confident that the problem would be solved eventually and it's nice to know there is some light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

The bridge has had a three-tonne weight restriction in place since May when the county council announced it couldn't afford to pay the £750,000 cost it calculated for the required necessary work to the 106-year-old structure.

An October 2014 assessment found that seven of the 13 arches on the Grade II listed bridge were deficient and the structure was monitored ever since.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: "The county council – like other local authorities – has been awarded money by the Department for Transport for the repair of potholes and minor highways maintenance schemes.

"In Northamptonshire, this is £6.7m.

"About £1.3m of this is to be used specifically for the repair work on North Bridge in Oundle.

"Now that money is available, work will continue on working up a design for the scheme and to secure the permissions necessary for the work to take place."

Work is expected to start in the latter part of 2019, wrote Cllr Ian Morris, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, in a letter to Corby and East Northants MP Tom Pursglove.

Cllr Morris also says the 18-tonne weight restriction on South Bridge will be revoked while North Bridge is repaired.

"South Bridge will be closely monitored to assess the impact of an increase in HGV traffic movement over it," he wrote.