There is growing concern that a bridge which was severely damaged after being hit by a vehicle will lead to long delays as local residents and parents doing the school run now have to find alternative routes. Trewornan Bridge near Wadebridge remains shut as police have warned that it could be “close to collapse” following the collision yesterday.
The B3314 is also closed in both directions as a result which Devon and Cornwall Police have warned could be for some time as the structural integrity of the bridge needs to be assessed and repairs carried out if required. It is understood that a structural engineer is currently on site to assess the damage and that diversions in place could add between 10 miles and 12 miles to local people’s journeys as they will have to Delabole and Camelford using smaller roads or taking various diversions. The road itself is also one that sees a busy season spike at this time of the year and through the summer.
Cornwall councillor Carol Mould, who represents Wadebridge East and St Minver on Cornwall Council, said: “This could cause very substantial delays and detours for local people. A structural engineer is assessing the bridge this morning and hopefully it will not lead to long delays. But for now this could be quite substantial and if it is serious and takes time to repair it will cause long delays in the area when the B3314 is one of these Cornish roads that sees a huge seasonal spike at this time of the year.”
While no one is reported to have been injured in the accident, a witness said: “The vehicle just clipped the end of the bridge, I don’t know how they did it. They are waiting for a structural engineer.”
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Police closed the road in both directions from the Gonvena Hill and the Chapel Amble turn off on the B3314. They are advising drivers to find an alternative route before travelling. The traffic monitoring app, Inrix, reported this morning (Monday May 16): “B3314 in both directions closed due to accident between Gonvena Hill and Chapel Amble turn off. A vehicle involved has struck the Trewornan Bridge in the area.”
Posting in the Love Wadebridge Facebook page, Cllr Mould said the bridge has now been assessed and the decision made to close. Because any alternative routes have to be similar to the closed road, the official diversion is through Delabole and Camelford.
She added: “However because so many local people choose to use the route through Chapel Amble I have agreed with Highways to suggest that if you are travelling to Wadebridge you go through Chapel Amble and if you are travelling from Wadebridge you turn left in Chapel Amble and go through Lower Amble to join the B3314 at Gut Bridge, this will keep the traffic flowing in the same direction.
“Please take care as this will cause disruption to the residents of Amble and Lower Amble. If the assessment of the bridge results in a longer closure I have asked that the above route is made an official alternative.” Cllr Mould added: “I am also aware Wadebridge School begins its GCSE exams this week so getting to school will be a must. Can I ask that people to delay their journey until later in the day, or car-share to reduce the volume of traffic first thing in the morning. It will be appreciated.”
A local woman posted on Facebook this morning: “Good luck to people driving to Rock through Chapel Amble and taking the Gut Hill Road. It was certainly not one way. No signs for the diversion down there. I reversed back a total of five times and only one person had the manners to acknowledge this.
“Also the road’s full of mud and slippery at the side, so take care. A normally 20-minute journey took me 40 minutes so please give yourself extra time. Stay safe everyone.”