Drivers are being warned it could be several months before repairs can begin on Abingdon Bridge, despite traffic restrictions being in place since May. It could also be more than a year until the project is completed.
Oxfordshire County Council said alterations have been made, in a bid to provide some benefits to pedestrians while also improving traffic flow.
Traffic lights were installed to protect the structure, after a survey revealed stonework on the northern arch of the bridge – which carries the A415 across the River Thames in Abingdon had become displaced.
Oxfordshire County Council says due to the complex nature of repairing the structure, and availability of subcontractors, it could be more than a year before the work is completed.
In late July, the council moved the temporary traffic signals further apart to create a dedicated space for ‘active travel’, particularly cyclists and pedestrians, over the bridge.
They have now been moved closer together to reduce the amount of time drivers will have to wait and to ease traffic queues.
Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management, said: “This has been an excellent opportunity to trial a scheme which encourages more cyclists and pedestrians to use the bridge sustainably. We know the benefits provided by the extra space was really welcomed by many people who felt safer as a result. We've learnt lessons from it and will continue to look at ways of increasing active travel across our network as we try to cut emissions and improve health and safety.
“We recognise that the end of the school holidays means we have to modify the scheme for the benefit of all road users, and I would like to thank the public who took part in our consultation for taking the time to give us their valuable feedback.”
Residents are being told it's likely to be several months before work can start on repairing the bridge and possibly more than a year before it is completed.
The complex nature of repairing this historic bridge, which was built in the 15th century, and uncertainty over the availability of subcontractors with the specialist skills, are factors in the amount of time the work will take.