A TEMPORARY bridge could be installed to enable repairs to be carried out on a ‘dangerous’ access road into a Rossendale village.

The temporary structure, proposed to stand in Irwell Vale for two years, would enable essential, and long-awaited, repairs to be carried out on Ogden Bridge, the only access route for 100 homes.

The plans have been welc-omed by Coun Darryl Smith, deputy leader of Rossendale’s Conservative group, who has campaigned for the bridge to be made safe for several years.

He said: “I’m delighted to see that it’s progressing.

“The Ogden Bridge, Irwell Brid- ge, and the bridge at Lumb, are in a terrible state, and have been for at least 20 years.

“It’s a vital access road, and an absolute lifeline to an entire village.

“But the county council made the argument that it was a private bridge and unadopted, which is a very weak argument when there’s a whole comm-unity that relies on it.

“If it collapsed, it would leave people stranded, and it would be down to the county council to fix it.”

A Lancashire County Council report said: “Ogden Bridge, which is privately owned, provides vehicular access to properties in the communities of Irwell Vale, Meadow Park and Lumb, and to Irwell Vale Halt, on the East Lancashire Railway.

“There have been mainten-ance problems with the bridge for several years, and Lanc-ashire County Council, in 2012, made a commitment to acquire the bridge and then strengthen it.

“However, due to access iss-ues to the adjacent land, prog-ress has been delayed.

“In July 2013, a hole was rep-orted on the bridge.

“To ensure that access to the communities in Irwell Vale can be safeguarded, a temporary bridge is proposed.”

A decision on the temprary bridge will be made at the county council’s development control committee meeting, on Wednesday.