Local Lib Dems express dismay at spring/summer bridge closure
Local Lib Dems express dismay at spring/summer bridge closure As the visitor season gets underway, local Liberal Democrats have voiced concern about the effects of the Aberbechan Bridge closure planned by Powys County Council. The Grade II-listed Aberbechan Bridge will be shut from April 16th for six months and there are concerns that additional congestion could be seen as the tourist season gets underway. Gemma Bowker, a Newtown Town Councillor and local campaigner, said: "Although we are aware that the work on the bridge needs to be completed, this could have been carried out earlier in the year. With mid Wales facing a rise in tourist traffic during the spring and summer, the closure could lead to further delays. "With no satisfactory solution yet put forward to solve the many transport problems already facing Newtown, this will further exacerbate the congestion. We want to work with officers from Powys County Council to ensure alternative routes work and the flow of traffic is not disrupted." Joy Jones, former mayor of Newtown and local champion, added: "The bridge should have been repaired before now and will put more pressure on the traffic coming into Newtown." Rob Harper, a local small businessman who runs a successful driving school in the area, commented: "I'm concerned Newtown traders could be losing money, with even longer delays as holiday traffic comes through. The fuel prices are crippling transport business and this will only add to the problems and pressure transport we are all under." Aberbechan Bridge, which is 150 year old, was closed in January 2011 after it showed signs of damage after the bitter winter weather, with cracks appearing in the structure. It was temporarily reopened on a limited basis last October, but is now closing to traffic again for final repair work from April 16th for six months.