DISRUPTION is likely to hamper drivers who use Abingdon Bridge as critical work to fix one of its arches could take more than a year.

Oxfordshire County Council confirmed that it needs to repair a loose stone there, which makes the bridge 'unsafe'.

This means that the temporary traffic signals erected near the Nags Head pub to control one-way traffic on the road, which passes over the bridge, will remain in place until the work is finally completed.

It comes despite criticism from residents who say that it causes heavy congestion during peak-hours.

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A number of residents in Abingdon angered by everyday delays on roads in the area have already contacted their local councillors to question why work has not already been started.

In a much-discussed post on social media, one local Laurence Williams argued it is 'very frustrating but all too common' to have lights with no sign of any activity.

Another resident Annie Thomas said that in more than a week only two arrows have been painted on the carriageway.

Nigel Johnson added: "Over the last few weeks it has been as if Abingdon has pulled up the draw bridge with all the road works.

"I drive for a living and Abingdon was never built for the volume of traffic that it has today.

"Highways and planning need to get their act together and plan instead of spending all of their budget in March and April every year."

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While repairing a single loose stone sounds simple enough, Abingdon Bridge, which was built in the 15th century, is a scheduled ancient monument.

This means that it has to be inspected by Historic England – the public body that looks after the country's registered historic places.

The online platform one.network, which shows road plans and traffic disruptions, says that the one-way system will be there until July 30.

However, Oxfordshire County Council predict that the bridge works would take much longer.

A spokesperson for local authority, which manages the county's highways, explained why the works could take this long: "The repairs will require the use of a specialist subcontractor and approvals as this is a listed building, and the timescales for getting this in place has not yet been fully established.

"It is likely to take at least six months and possibly over a year before a satisfactory repair is completed which will enable these temporary traffic signals to be removed."

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Resident Kath Tillinghast pointed out that the village Bidford-on-Avon, in Warwickshire, experienced a similar problem with one of its bridged back in 2015, which took a long time to fix.

She commented: It was damaged by a tractor in 2015 and repair was a difficult and lengthy process because of its historic status.

"It was damaged again last week.

"Bridges from the15th century are amazing, however, even though over-engineered ones are no match for modern traffic."

Historic England has been contacted for a comment on the upcoming inspection and works.