A ROAD has been re-opened three months after badger setts were found under the carriageway.

Gloucestershire County Council’s highways teams closed the road near Kempsford for safety reasons back in April after badger setts were found.

Burrowing badgers had removed tonnes of earth from under the road, and environmental law means county council highways crews had to wait almost three months to get onsite.

The badgers had burrowed under 150 metres of a country lane between Kempsford and Hannington Wick, meaning the road could have collapse at any time and intensive structural work was required to fix the subsidence.

Highways crews have won the race against time to fix the road in time for the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford and help prevent long delays for visitors.

The county council assist Air Tattoo event organisers every year to manage traffic in the area, and highways teams have worked around the clock to re-open the road in time for the event, which takes place this weekend.

Back in April, the council called in badger experts and requested a licence from Natural England so they could explore options to get the road re-opened as soon as possible.

However due to the badger breeding season, crews could not disturb the set by law until July 1 at the earliest.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: “I really appreciate the patience of local residents and understand long road closures are frustrating.

"I would also like to thank our contractors for their hard work in getting this road open in the limited time they had to work on site. It’s really pleasing the road is now available for use in time for this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo.”

In early July, badger experts were granted permission to move the animals humanely and safely away from the road.

Highways crews then rebuilt the layers of material which support the carriageway, and finally resurfaced the section so it is as good as new.

They worked nearly 24 hours a day for two weeks to complete the work on time.