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Bridge closure victory
VILLAGERS have forced Essex County Council into a U-turn over closing a main road to the A12 for a month.
Highways bosses had planned to close Hinds Bridge, which connects Tiptree to the A12, in order to repair it.
But the planned diversion would have sent Tiptree motorists through Colchester and Marks Tey on a 20-mile round trip in order to join the A12.
A Tiptree Parish Council delegation met highways bosses to fight the plans, which it said would have a detrimental effect on businesses and villagers.
Delegation member Ron Ratcliffe told a meeting of Tiptree Parish Council: “This is a serious issue. “The service given to the people of Tiptree and this council by Essex County Council has been so amateur.
“To impose a diversion on people whose jobs may already be hanging on a knife edge is so wrong. There has been no consultation with the parish council, and that is very worrying.
“The county council has failed in its duty.”
Parish councillors have also urged Essex County Council to find out if the bridge repairs could be paid for using European Union funds, to avoid burdening taxpayers.
Martin Warnes, another member of the parish council delegation, added: “They were concerned with getting the best deal for Essex County Council, but not for the community they represent.
“By standing our ground we have not allowed ourselves to be pushed over.”
A memo from Essex County Council has confirmed there is now no planned closure.
Repairs will, however, be conducted on the underside of the bridge and traffic controls and a temporary 30mph speed limit will be put in place towards the end of August.
The memo added: “Essex County Council has no plans to limit the load passing over the structure, but will continue to review the bridge and take appropriate action.”
The bridge was due to be closed for repair for four weeks from August 6.