DINAS POWYS councillors say they are delighted that work to remove the old Cross Common Bridge at the Barry end of Dinas Powys is finally under way.

The bridge was closed off to drivers in February 2017 after a new access road was built and the safety of the old bridge was questioned.

The Vale council abandoned the bridge and put up barriers to stop traffic using it, and councillors have said the taped off bridge has been a needless issue ever since.

After delays in finding a specialist contractor, the council had committed to beginning work to remove the bridge towards the end of last year.

Now, Horizon Civil Engineering, a special contracting team, have begun work on dismantling the bridge, and work on removing it is expected to take six to eight weeks.

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Cllr Stephen Griffiths said: “We thank the Vale council for their vigilance in sticking with it and getting in place a contractor to remove the Cross Common Bridge, after more than one setback.

“We understand the issues the council faced and we are grateful that the work has finally begun.”

Cllr Andy Robertson said that while removal of the bridge is important, all demolition material must be taken off site. “As the work to remove the bridge continues through to September, it is imperative for the work carried out will be to a high standard. Any stone and brickwork removed from the bridge, must be removed off site as we cannot afford any rubbish building up at the bottom of the river,” he said.

“The area is already prone to flooding and we would not want to see the risk increasing due to the removal of the bridge.”

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Plaid Cymru councillor Chris Franks explained his frustration that the bridge was still there last month, and colleague John Fanshaw says everyone in the area is delighted the work is being done.

“It’s become an eyesore in recent years and just got worse and worse, so this has been welcome news. It is a shame it took so long to get done, and the community council has worked very hard in bringing this to the attention of the Vale.”

Residents, like Jean Webber who lives nearby at Llwyn Derwen, have previously reported witnessing fly-tippers dumping rubbish at the unused bridge. She said it was as though the area had been forgotten.

A Vale of Glamorgan council spokesman said: “Unfortunately, the contractor originally appointed to remove the bridge withdrew from the project after agreement couldn’t be reached on a claim for additional costs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“That meant a new contractor had to be found, a process that added to the delay caused by the pandemic itself, which for a period prevented work of this type being carried out.

“The council has now successfully appointed a new contractor and work should be completed by the end of October.”