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Traders to ‘grin and bear bridge’ closure
BUSINESSES fear they will take a financial hit when a historic bridge over the River Thames is closed next week for a month and a half.
Oxfordshire County Council will close Tadpole Bridge, near Bampton, from Monday to repair damaged masonry.
The 18th century crossing, which will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists, is a key route between west and south Oxfordshire.
County Hall said the closure would cause “significant disruption” for some motorists, but said it was necessary to carry out the work safely and effectively.
traffic will be diverted via Faringdon and Lechlade.
Bampton Garden Plants manager Olly Wills said: “I think it will definitely affect us quite badly.
“We will lose the traffic from the A420, which is a very busy road, and that is a concern for us.
“All we can do is let our customers know and encourage people to come through Standlake and Aston.”
Sue Caswell, Aston Pottery shop manager, added: “I think it will affect us. We have a lot of customers that come from Swindon and Faringdon.
“If the diversion is signposted it should not be too much of a problem, but if it is not it could make a lot of difference to us.”
Steve Radband, who runs a Bampton-based haulage firm, said: “It will affect me dramatically.
“We are going to have to do a detour, which will add miles to our journeys and is going to cost a fortune in fuel.”
He warned the closure could hit farmers the hardest, as they are already behind on their harvests. He added: “Closing the bridge would be bad enough if it had been a good summer, but it has been such a bad summer that the farmers are a month behind.”
Helen Pugh, owner of The Trout at Tadpole Bridge, said: “It is never great when they close the road, and it is the second time in six years they have done it.
“It is obviously going to make what has not been an easy year because of the weather that little bit harder, but unfortunately it has to be done.
“We will just have to grin and bear it.”
County council spokesman Owen Morton said: “The work involves repairing sections of masonry which have become damaged due to weathering over time and is due to last around six weeks.
“Unfortunately this means the bridge will remain closed to traffic during this period, with signposted diversions via Faringdon and Lechlade. The bridge will remain passable for pedestrians and cyclists.
“Inevitably this will cause significant disruption for some motorists, but unfortunately work of this nature cannot be carried out safely or effectively without closing the road over the bridge.”
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