The recent closure of Ludford Bridge, the main access route into Ludlow from the south, caused disruption for residents, visitors and businesses.
On 30 June, we will be holding a special meeting of Shropshire Council’s area committee, the Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee (LJC). The evening will be devoted to a discussion of the recent closure, the repairs to the historic fabric and how we should protect the bridge in the future.
Highways officers will be on hand to discuss the problems the town faced when the bridge closed. Heritage experts will answer questions about the repairs, including why they look so new.
The main agenda of the evening will look towards the future. Should we close the bridge to HGVs? Where will heavy traffic go if we do? How do we redirect traffic and keep people informed the next time the bridge is closed?
Councillor Andy Boddington is chair of the Ludlow and Clee LJC. He says:
“The bridge was closed after it was damaged by a reversing truck on 21 February. Engineers and heritage experts worked hard to get it repaired and reopened. It was quite a challenge because matching heritage stone had to be sourced from local quarries. The stone then had to be dressed and laid with lime mortar by craftsmen who were only allowed to use traditional methods.
“The bridge reopened on 6 May, having been closed for ten weeks and five days.
“This was a very disruptive period for Ludlow. There is anecdotal evidence that local businesses lost trade and that visitors found it difficult to get into town.
“Following the closure, several people and organisations have suggested that Ludford Bridge should be closed to HGVs. There were plans to do this a few years back but a lack of money meant that the scheme was abandoned.
“If heavy traffic is to be banned from the bridge, we will have to consider carefully the impacts the displaced traffic will have on other parts of our historic town.
“Everyone is invited to the LJC meeting. We are particularly keen to hear from local businesses and people who were directly affected by the closure.”
The meeting is at the Elim Church Rooms, Smithfield Car Park, 7pm, Thursday 30 June.