GLOUCESTERSHIRE County Council has announced that a bridge in Lechlade will remain closed to traffic after a car crashed into the wall.

A vehicle collided with the Halfpenny Bridge on the A361 in Lechlade in the early hours of Tuesday morning (June 20) which caused significant damage to the wall of the bridge.

Following inspection, engineers have assessed that the damage has left Halfpenny Bridge structurally compromised and it cannot be opened to traffic on safety grounds.

However, the bridge is safe to open to pedestrians and cyclists currently and as any repair work is carried out. 

Halfpenny Bridge, which was built in 1792, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade II listed which means any repairs need to be agreed with Heritage England.

The River Thames beneath the bridge and the footpath alongside the river will remain open. 

The council will continue to engage with the Environment Agency, Lechlade Town Council and local community groups throughout the work.

The road will need to remain closed throughout the Royal International Air Tattoo which starts on Friday, July 14.

The county council has informed organisers of this closure and will work closely with them to make appropriate arrangements. 

This route is not included in the event’s traffic plans.

Roads immediately south of the bridge are the responsibility of Swindon Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council will work closely with its neighbouring authority throughout the closure. 

Given the special status of the bridge and the likely complexity of the repair, it is not currently known when the road will be able to be opened to traffic but the county council will provide further updates as work progresses. 

Cllr Dom Morris, cabinet member responsible for highways at Gloucestershire County Council and local member for Fairford and Lechlade-on-Thames, said: “We need to close Halfpenny Bridge while these works at carried out to keep everyone safe.

“We will work closely with partner agencies throughout the repair process and will carry out the work as quickly as possible. 

“I would like to apologise to residents and businesses for the inconvenience caused by this closure and appreciate their patience.”