MORE than £800,000 is to be spent carrying out vital repairs to four bridges in the Valley.

The bridges at Irwell Vale, Lumb near Edenfield, Ogden, and Whitewell Brook in Water will be made made safe following a ‘frustrating’ two-year wait for residents.

A further £200,000 is to be spent on inspections and maintenance of bridges and retaining walls in Waterfoot, Stacksteads, Crawshawbooth and other parts of Rossendale.

Coun Darryl Smith, leader of Rossendale’s Conservative Group, said there have been long-standing issues with several of the bridges for 30 years.

He said: “I successfully argued for funding to get the bridges fixed in 2012, when I was still on the county council, and the work was supposed to start two years ago.

“But there’s been issues with land ownership that has been preventing any work in Irwell Vale and Lumb getting started. And consent has to be passed because it’s a conservation area.

“I understand that there has been a lot of work to get done before the work can go ahead, but you would’ve thought 18 months down the line we would’ve seen it get started. So I’m absolutely delighted that the money has been allocated, but you can see signs of frustration creeping in with residents that it hasn’t been done yet.”

David Leung, bridge design manager at Lancashire County Council, said: “In 2012, £800,000 was allocated to strengthen three bridges in Irwell Vale.

“The start of the works was delayed as we needed to negotiate access to the sites.

“Work has begun on site at Ogden bridge, and once this work has been finished, we will be able to start work on bridges at Lumb and Irwell Vale.

“This is a complicated project but we are hoping to complete the works within the next 18 months.