Dear Editor,

Last week it was reported in the Ross Gazette that the bid to get a Heritage Lottery grant for the repair of the Black Bridge at Lydbrook had been unsuccessful.

Herefordshire Council said the bridge was an important part of the Wye Valley Walk and they remain fully committed to the restoration of a pedestrian crossing at this point.

Walking down the river on Friday I met an American gentleman who was trying to get to Ross via the Wye Valley Walk. He was very confused and not pleased to find the bridge was closed meaning he could not cross over the river. He was faced with the prospect of leaving the river and walking along the road in several places until he reached Kerne Bridge.

He was only one of many tourists who have voiced their concern, disappointment and disbelief that this important bridge has remained closed for so long.

If both Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Councils are really committed to re-opening the Bridge, surely now would be an ideal opportunity to take advantage of the work already done.

At the moment the entire bridge is clad in scaffolding and has in place what looks like a robust and safe walkway, all the old unsafe parts having been stripped away.

It does not make sense, or indeed financial sense, to remove all the scaffolding now and then have to re-install it at some later date.

Surely an historic landmark such as the Black Bridge, an essential part of the Wye Valley Walk, in the middle of an area famed for its beauty and tourism, deserves to be repaired and open for use by everyone. It is sorely missed.

Name and address supplied