Motorists are being urged to avoid the north Oxfordshire villages of Barford St Michael and Barford St John due to a road closure after faults were found on Barford Bridge in an inspection.

Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) has taken the decision to close a section of Bloxham Road after deterioration of the bridge was observed.

Due to the high number of HGVs using the route immediate action needed to be taken.

There was the risk of significant further damage before suitable measures could be put in place to stop heavy vehicles from using the bridge, such as a physical width restriction with appropriate advance signage.

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The deterioration is so severe that weight restriction signage alone – which is often ignored – was not considered appropriate.

The bridge will need to be partially reconstructed for it to be used as normal and this could take more than a year to arrange.

OCC is now planning to install a physical width restriction of two metres to prevent vehicles of over three tonnes using the bridge.

This will enable the road to be reopened to the majority of cars, but not HGVs, which could take a few months to arrange.

Despite the bridge having severe deterioration it will remain open to pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists.

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