Residents blast council as bridge has remained closed for 20 months

Residents battling for food deliveries and claim neighbourhood has been plagued with rats and foxes after council ‘cut them off’ from rest of their city when bridge was closed for urgent repairs 20 months ago

  • Locals have been cut off from Newport, South Wales, for nearly two years
  • They regularly face problems with deliveries, rats, weeds and emergency access

Residents claim they are facing a delivery blockade and a plague of rodents after their council closed a bridge, which connects them to their city, for urgent repairs 20 months ago. 

Families, who live on Forge Mews, require Old Bassaleg Bridge to access Newport in South Wales. But it was closed by council officials nearly two years ago and has remained barricaded off ever since.

Neighbours, who are even planning a second birthday party to mark the closure, are now calling for action after facing a multitude of problems with delivery drivers, rats, overgrown weeds and emergency service access.

Tony Brookes, who lives on Forge Mews, said: ‘Nothing has happened. We were told that no work could commence during the rainbow trout spawning season.

‘That was two years ago. Nothing’s happened since. There are rats in the area by the bins, and foxes going through our bin bags. 

A bridge (pictured right) in Wales has been closed for ‘urgent repairs’ for 20 months – and is cutting off residents from Newport, South Wales

 Neighbours, who are even planning a second birthday party to mark the closure of the bridge, are furious at being cut off from the city

‘We don’t know what to do. Our car insurance has gone up, as we can’t park on our driveways.

‘We’ve never had an apology despite the myriad of problems.’

Mr Brookes said the neighbours on the street had pulled together to call for change, adding: ‘It’s a wartime spirit.’

Old Bassaleg Bridge was closed for urgent repairs on August 6, 2021.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said she lost her belongings in a fire after living on the street for 26 years.

She said the fire service were forced to use bolt cutters to gain access to the street through the access gates off the busy A467 bypass.

She said: ‘It’s the same old situation here. Deliveries won’t come. It’s pathetic. They don’t care about us.

‘The council never clean the road, the residents have had to do it for them.

‘We’re still paying our council tax, for what?’

Tony Brookes (pictured), who lives on Forge Mews, said that there has been no change, 20 months after the bridge was closed by the council

The residential street is on the banks of the River Ebbw and residents require Old Bassaleg Bridge to access Newport

Residents of the street have said that they are regularly facing problems with delivery drivers, rats, overgrown weeds and access for emergency services

A spokesperson for Newport City Council said: ‘Our consultants are currently preparing their findings on the condition of the bridge following sampling and testing of materials, and extensive monitoring of the structure.

‘We expect them to provide potential options for next steps based on their findings.

‘Initial investigations were carried out last year, but the presence of numerous utility services apparatus within and directly below the bridge structure complicated any repair proposals.

‘This led to further investigations and design studies having to be undertaken, which has delayed those potential options being provided.

‘The council would like to thank residents of Forge Mews for their patience and understanding while this work has been ongoing.

‘We continue to facilitate emergency access to Forge Mews from the A467, pedestrian access over the bridge, and residents’ access to parking spaces on the other side of the River Ebbw.’

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