A Herefordshire resident has demanded action to reopen a footbridge between him and his nearest shop that has been closed for over two and a half years.

Jim McGeown of Dilwyn, between Leominster and Kington, said the bridge lies on the sole footpath connecting the village to the larger neighbouring settlement of Weobley, which has the area’s only shop.

Claiming Herefordshire Council’s inaction showed its stated goal of prioritising active travel in the county “has no substance”, he said: “I would love to actively travel to Weobley to buy bread and milk.”


Mr McGeown further claimed local craftsmen “could already have delivered a bridge which would have lasted into next century” and that “all the council would have needed to do was to tick it off as a job done”.

And he asked cabinet member for transport Coun Philip Price: “Will I be able to lead Leominster rambling club over it on their summer solstice walk?”

Hereford Times: Closure notice on the footbridge between Dilwyn and Weobley, dated July 2021Closure notice on the footbridge between Dilwyn and Weobley, dated July 2021 (Image: supplied)
Coun Price replied: “I would love to be able to say yes. We are putting together a framework agreement of suppliers to carry out work such as this from April.

“We have a backlog, and significant funding to cover that backlog,” he said. “But we are stuck with a lack of suppliers to do that work. I suspect the [bridge] work won’t be done in time for this year.”


He added that the 10-metre bridge “needs to be installed by competent and capable contractors and so is not suitable to local delivery”, and that the task  “currently ranks 42 on our list”.

“This council does recognise the importance of the rights of way network, both in terms of active travel and the impact that the network has on the visitor economy,” Coun Price added.

The council’s budget for the coming financial year, approved last month, includes £250,000 to address the backlog of repairs on the county’s public rights of way network, and the same amount again for the lengthsman scheme, which devolves some local transport maintenance to parishes.