'Support your local shops' is the plea from a Burton business chief as Burton Bridge part-closes today for 10 weeks for urgent repairs.

Chris Plant, director of Burton and District Chamber of Commerce, is urging shoppers to continue their normal routines - despite the part-closure of one of the main routes into Burton.

One lane will remain open to motorists driving into Burton but there will be no access out of town.

Mr Plant thinks Staffordshire County Council has learnt lessons from last year's closure of St Peter's Bridge.

Business owners said they feared for their livelihoods after shoppers were discouraged from visiting the town to avoid long tailbacks.

Mr Plant said: "I am glad the closure has been done in consultation with businesses this time. Lessons have been learnt by Staffordshire County Council from the first bridge.

Chris Plant, director of the Burton and District Chamber of Commerce
Chris Plant, director of the Burton and District Chamber of Commerce

"While the closure is never ideal, following discussions with us at the Chamber and our businesses, the best solution to the problem has been chosen.

"Both the timing and option used are the correct choice and will minimise disruption as much as possible.

Video Loading

"The work is a necessity and not a choice, so I encourage everyone to support our local retailers during this difficult period.

"Make the effort to continue to use your local shops and favourite restaurants - and buy local."

The council came under fire last year following the complete closure of St Peter's Bridge.

It was part of a £6.1 million fund to carry out strengthening work on the two bridges spanning the River Trent in town.

It triggered an emergency meeting last year, attended by business leaders and independent traders, who complained not enough was being done to support them.

The arch on the right of the photo will be rounded like the original arches

This time, the authority has had more time to prepare the work and scheduled it during the school summer holidays to minimise disruption.

It is also keeping one lane of the four-lane bridge open at all times for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

The work will involve filling in disused arches under the bridge, which support the road, and resurfacing the road itself to create a waterproof film.

This is designed to stop water getting into the structure and weakening the bridge.

The project has been given a £6.1 million grant from the Department for Transport and the authorities say it is needed to ensure access into Burton is maintained in the future.

Video Loading

Changes you need to know about during the closure

Buses

Midland Classic bosses have admitted they have no idea how bad traffic could be in town, but said it will put precautions in place which could mean some services departing a little earlier.

A spokesman said: "We have no idea how bad the traffic will be, so as a precaution we have adjusted the times we leave Burton’s Queen’s Hospital and Horninglow by a few minutes. Most buses will leave Burton towards Winshill and Swadlincote five minutes earlier than normal.

"During this time, buses on Route 3 and Route 8 will leave Burton via St Peter’s Bridge and Stapenhill Road. Passengers who normally get on the bus in High Street need to go to New Street Bay 6 or Lichfield Street (Halfords).

"Buses into Burton will run via Burton Bridge and High Street as per normal line of route. However, there will be several full closures of the bridge from 7pm overnight - during this time inbound buses will also divert via Stapenhill Road and St Peter’s Bridge."

Diversions

Those using alternative transport into town can take several diversion routes to avoid the traffic.

Travelling from St Peter's Bridge, motorists can turn right into Orchard Street, then onto Union Street, straight over into Guild Street and onto Horninglow Street.

Motorists travelling from the A511 Swadlincote can turn left into Beaufort Road and onto Violet Way.

They can then turn right on to the A444 Stanton Road and across to St Peter's Bridge.

Those driving in Newton Road can turn up to Mill Hill Lane, turn right then immediate first left to Hawfield Lane, turn right to Melbourne Avenue, and then right onto Bretby Lane and on to the A511.

Roads across Burton closed for £200k improvement work ahead of Burton Bridge part-closure

Those in Newton Solney hoping to get to Burton can leave Newton Lane by turning right into Knight's Lane, and onto Bretby Lane to the A511.

Those in Repton should proceed to Willington and on to the A38.

Those driving down the A511 from areas such as Beam Hill and Tutbury can turn right in to Calais Road, turn into Belvedere Road, then onto Dallow Street.

Turn right onto the A5121 Derby Street and turn left into Shobnall Road, driving straight to St Peter's Bridge.

After consulting residents, businesses and emergency services, the county council has confirmed:

  • The rescheduled work will start on June 18 and finish in time for the start of the new school term in September - a reduction of three weeks on the original plans.
  • One lane on the bridge will now remain open, instead of the proposed full closure of all four lanes. This will be into Burton to allow emergency services to manage journeys over the bridges and encourage people to support businesses in the town
  • Extra highways crews will be deployed. During the scheme, work will be carried out from 7.30am to 4.30pm, seven days a week, with additional twilight shifts from 4.30pm to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday, except when curing time for materials is necessary.
  • Overnight working is not possible for the full duration of the scheme because of the impact of noise on nearby residential areas. Some overnight work will be needed towards the end of the project to apply the final carriageway surface and the bridge will be fully closed overnight and reopen at 6am.
  • Access will be maintained for cyclist and pedestrians.