RESIDENTS are expressing relief as the opening date for Halfpenny Bridge has now finally been revealed. 

The work to repair the historic bridge into the village after it was struck by a car appeared to have been completed last week - but the road still remained blocked off to vehicles. 

Motorists who use the through-route between Highworth and Lechlade have faced extensive detours for months since its closure and expressed disbelief that this seemed to be continuing. 

But an update posted on the Gloucestershire County Council website this week has suggested that the road will finally be back in use by Friday, November 3. 

Businesses have been affected by the closure with many saying their footfall had fallen dramatically throughout. 

The landlord of of the affected businesses, the Riverside Pub, Gareth Chapman, reacted to the news simply by saying: "Finally".

Other residents have commented on the news via Lechlade Facebook community pages.

Swindon Advertiser: The road closure still in place by Halfpenny BridgeThe road closure still in place by Halfpenny Bridge (Image: Gareth Chapman)

One said: "I'll see it to believe it. Once those signs disappear from the roundabout by Aldi in Highworth. Then I will know we are back to a 15-minute journey rather than 40 minutes.

"To get to work and home. It's been a nightmare. And the roads really are taking a battering."

A second person commented: "It's been a nightmare trying to get someone to tell us what was going on with this bridge. 

"It's great we finally have a date, but who knows if it will actually open or not."

Prior to the update on the website, residents had tried to get answers about what was going on at the bridge after construction works appeared to have finished work, removed the scaffolding and left the area. 

Things weren't helped by a notice being posted in the public notice board by Budgens of a Traffic Regulation Order stating that Thames Street, the road that runs over Halfpenny Bridge, would be closed from October 24 to November 30, with many people assuming this was the date the road would reopen. 

The One Network map also confused matters as it said that the road closure was in place until 4.30pm on October 30, leaving some residents angered when that time and date came and went without any update or signs of the road reopening. 

Gloucestershire County Council were approached for an update.