A CRITICISM-hit road closure has come to an end after remedial works to repair a sinkhole were completed today.

The C1039 Lugg Green Road between Bicton and Kingsland was closed in early December after a sinkhole was discovered on the stretch.

But repairs were delayed because, Herefordshire Council said, badgers were present at the site.

Any work that may disturb badgers or setts is prohibited unless a licence is granted by Natural England.

A four-mile signposted diversion was in place for the duration of the closure, attracting criticism from villagers and other local residents, who were concerned about the impact of the closure on farmers and others.

However, despite fears that the road could be closed until April, Herefordshire Council have today confirmed that the road has reopened.

Barriers will be in place for a few days to protect the newly reinstated edge of the carriageway and give concrete used in the repairs time to cure.

A council spokesperson said the repairs had been delayed by the presence of badgers in the area, and that officers had been working with specialists to carry out repair work to fill in the subsidence without impacting on the nearby sett.

Necessary measures included the use of hand tools to avoid noise, vibration and disturbance, while a temporary top surface repair has been put in place.

"Once badger breeding season has ended we will return to do a permanent top surface repair in the summer, which will involve a short duration closure," the spokesperson said.

"We appreciate the closure has caused inconvenience for local residents and would like to thank them for their patience."