A lengthy closure of Burton Bridge will now take place in the summer holidays after previous plans to do the works in the New Year sparked fury, it has been confirmed.
Staffordshire County Council sought permission from the government to move the date of the works after the ongoing three-month closure of St Peter’s Bridge caused chaos.
After being granted permission to postpone the repairs, the council called on the people and businesses of Burton to have their say on when they should take place.
The county council was overwhelmed by the number of calls from locals and has confirmed that the second phase of the Burton Gateway works will now take place later next year.
Mark Deaville, the county council’s cabinet member with overall responsibility for the scheme, said: "We all know why this £6.1m scheme is absolutely crucial and must be done to safeguard the future used of both St Peter’s Bridge and Burton Bridge, but also absolutely recognise the impact that closing either of the bridges has.
"Although we had to start the work on St Peter’s immediately as a condition of the funding, we successfully argued the case for switching the work on the second bridge to the summer – if that is what the people of Burton wanted.
"The overwhelming response is that this is what people want and I am pleased to confirm that after taking on board all the comments and listening to people and businesses we will now start the work in the summer instead of early in the New Year."
The Department for Transport announced in August that the county council had been successful in its bid for funding for the major works needed to safeguard both bridges. Without the work being carried out HGVs and buses would be banned and St Peter’s Bridge would have had to be closed for good.
Mr Deaville added: "With St Peter’s we had no choice but to start work immediately, but now we will be starting the next phase in the summer holidays it will give us time to plan ahead, work with residents and business and minimise disruption as much as possible.
"By doing the work in the summer, roads will be quieter and we'll be doing everything we can to complete the works as quickly as possible. We also want to encourage people to support local businesses and will be helping get the message out there that the town will still be very much open for business."
St Peter’s Bridge is due to reopen on Saturday, November 25 and plans will now be finalised for the work on Burton Bridge next summer. The county council is also planning to work with businesses to launch a festival before the end of the year to promote the town.
People can find out more about the scheme and sign up for updates at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/burtonbridges