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Repairs to botched 19th century bridge more than year after mistake

PUBLISHED: 09:06 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:06 10 July 2019

The Nuns' Bridges in Thetford were repaired with the wrong bricks. Picture: Ian Burt

The Nuns' Bridges in Thetford were repaired with the wrong bricks. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A bridge that was repaired incorrectly will finally be fixed after a botched job left the 19th century structure with a mishmash of different bricks.

The Nuns' Bridges in Thetford were repaired with the wrong bricks. Picture: Ian BurtThe Nuns' Bridges in Thetford were repaired with the wrong bricks. Picture: Ian Burt

One of the grade II-listed Nuns' Bridges, in Nuns' Bridge Road, Thetford, was repaired last year by Norfolk County council contractors but the wrong bricks were used.

The repairs attracted complaints from people in the town and left them seeing red due to the bright colour of the bricks used.

Work to replace them had been scheduled to take place on September 2 to September 6. But Thetford town councillor Terry Jermy feared that this would cause additional traffic issues due to the start of the new school term.

The county council has now confirmed that the works will take place from August 27 to Friday 30.

The Nuns' Bridges in Thetford were repaired with the wrong bricks. Picture: Ian BurtThe Nuns' Bridges in Thetford were repaired with the wrong bricks. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Jermy said: "I am very pleased that Norfolk County Council listened to my suggestion to bring the work forward to repair the bridge so that it did not take place during the first week of the new school term when there would inevitably be greater pressure on our town's road network. At least this way the disruption is minimised."

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The contractor has agreed to repair the work at no cost to the county council.

Mr Jermy added: "I am pleased that the work is being done so that this important part of Thetford's heritage is repaired properly but it remains regrettable it was not repaired adequately the first time around.

"At least tax-payers will not be billed a second time around."

A spokesman for the county council said at the time of the original repairs: "Unfortunately, a mistake was made and the wrong bricks were used to repair Nuns' Bridge.

"This will be put right as soon as possible. We will provide full information, as normal, about the arrangements for these repairs when a date has been set."

But Mr Jermy says it has taken too long. He added: "I am disappointed that it has taken so long but as long as it is done properly this time I'll forgive them."

A council spokesman said that the delay was due to the prioritisation of public safety. Because the work needed to the bridge was cosmetic it was deemed safe.

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