WORK to repair a Herefordshire bridge which has been closed for several months is still six weeks away from being finished.

Network Rail said it had to close the bridge over the railway at Stoke Edith, and therefore the lane that links the Ledbury and Worcester roads, because of damage.

It has meant drivers who use the lane have had to use alternative routes between the A4103 and A438 to get around the C1148 Stoke Edith road closure.


Network Rail's community relations executive Delroy Hall said that the bridge had been closed since November 2022 after an inspection "revealed significant water damage affecting the bridge’s structural integrity".

He said it was a major safety concern that led to the joint decision with Herefordshire Council to close the road until repairs to the bridge were complete.

That was despite the impact it knew additional journey times would have on road users.


"We understand local people would expect us to complete this critical work within the timeframe that was originally agreed," he said, but blamed unforeseen issues with water management for the work taking several months.

"I know that this falls well below the expectations of local residents and this must be increasingly frustrating for road users in the area.

"Though much of the work taking place is not visible to the public as the majority of the work must be carried out within the watercourse itself, please be assured that we are working hard to get the road re-opened as soon as possible.

"Because of the safety risk caused by the damage to the bridge, the full road closure must remain in place while we carry out the remaining work."

Ledbury Reporter:

Concrete blocks have been put across the road and Network Rail said it hoped to have the work finished by the middle of April when the road can reopen.

Mr Hall added: "I want to apologise again for the inconvenience and disruption this work continues to cause, that the rest of the repairs can be completed on time.

"All staff and contractors are briefed on working responsibly in the local community, as we expect staff to be considerate, polite and courteous at all times."