Cotswolds villagers will no longer face a seven mile detour as a road which was close to collapsing reopens.

The lane between Kempsford and Hannington Wick returns to normal four days before the Royal International Air Tattoo festival which attracts around 185,000 people.

It was originally closed in April after burrowing badgers removed tonnes of earth beneath the road making it unstable.

However because the creatures are a protected species, work could only begin after the breeding season had finished on July 1st and with a special permit from Natural England.

Mental wiring has been buried along the edge of the road to prevent badgers digging underneath it again. Credit: ITV West Country

Badger experts then worked with Gloucestershire Highways crews to move the animals humanely and safely away from the road.

Highways crews then rebuilt the carriageway working nearly 24 hours a day for two weeks to complete the work on time.

Contractors had a race against time to fix the road ahead of the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford. Credit: ITV West Country

I really appreciate the patience of local residents and understand long road closures are frustrating. I would also like to thank our contractors for their hard work in getting this road open in the limited time they had to work on site. It’s really pleasing the road is now available for use in time for this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways