PLANS to close a road near Hereford for a week in August have been abandoned after a backlash from the local community.

The B4224 Fownhope Road, which was shut for 13 months due to storm damage and only reopened in March, was due to be shut again from August 23.

But Balfour Beatty Living Places, Herefordshire Council's contractor, backed down from its plans after locals criticised them.

Katie McCullen, from Balfour Beatty Living Places, said the surfacing and drainage works on the B4224 around Fownhope would instead take place in the autumn.

She said the community had concerns over the impact on local tourism and leisure after the Covid restrictions eased.

"After discussions with the ward councillor, who has been in discussion with parish council, residents and local businesses, the cabinet member for Infrastructure and Transport has asked that the works planned along the B4224 at Fownhope village and Fiddlers Green, which were due to commence on August 23 are postponed to later in autumn, therefore the B4224 will not be closed during this period," she said.

"We had planned to deliver these works during the school summer holiday to minimise disruption to commuters and school traffic, but in response to concerns over the impact on local tourism and leisure, particularly following the full easing of Covid. restrictions, these works will now be delivered during Autumn – the exact dates to be confirmed in the next couple of weeks."

The road reopened in March after the 13-month closure to repair extensive damage from Storm Dennis, but Balfour Beatty was proposing to close the road again after just five months of being open.

Ward councillor John Hardwick has been approached for comment.

The schedule foe the now-postponed August works, sent to local residents, said the road would be closed between Scotch Firs and Lower House Gardens from Monday, August 23 to Wednesday, August 25 between 9am and 5pm.

It would also be closed between Mordiford to Fownhope at Fiddlers Green from Tuesday, August 24 to Friday, August 27 between 9am and 5pm.

Access to businesses and homes would be maintained as much as possible, Balfour Beatty said.

The fully signed diversion route would be via the C1292 Dormington, A438 Trumpet, A4172 Preston Cross, A449 Old Gore Crossroads and B4224 towards Fownhope when the works go ahead.