CHESHIRE East has bulldozed an unsafe road bridge after closing it for nearly 18 months – and has now downed tools because it doesn’t know if it has funds to rebuild it.

As reported previously by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), a number of residents were effectively ‘cut off’ and had to make a several mile diversion by car to get into the village after the council closed Booths Bridge on Cheadle Lane at Plumley.

Work to demolish and replace the crumbling bridge was continually delayed.

Residents say their hopes were raised a couple of months ago when the bridge was finally bulldozed.

Knutsford Guardian: Booths Bridge at Plumley was bulldozed because it was unsafeBooths Bridge at Plumley was bulldozed because it was unsafe (Image: Cheshire East Council)

But shortly afterwards the workers disappeared - leaving locals with no bridge into the village at all.

One resident told the LDRS: “As soon as February rolled around the entire site was left abandoned, with portable cabins, an industrial grade digger and a makeshift bridge all left unattended.

"This was capped off with a large spiked iron fence being placed on either side of the site.

“With the site left derelict for weeks, I checked out the one network site and was surprised to see that the bridge repairs had now been pushed to August 2025, leaving the Booths Bridge completely out of commission for what would be a little over three years.

“After speaking with Cheshire East, I discovered that the reason this had happened was because the council did not have the budget allocation.”

The resident added: “I have of course asked why they would even start an operation like this without a proper budget to run off of, but naturally have not received anything as to why on earth they so haphazardly took on the job.”

Cheshire East Council has been unable to confirm to the LDRS when work will start to rebuild the bridge.

Knutsford Guardian: Cllr Mark GoldsmithCllr Mark Goldsmith (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Cllr Mark Goldsmith, chair of the council’s highways and transport committee, said: “Booths Bridge on Cheadle Lane in Plumley needs to be replaced for safety reasons.

“The old bridge has been safely demolished in the first phase of works.

“Due to the pressures on its budget, the council is now reviewing its capital investment for the new financial year.

"A replacement bridge in Plumley will be part of that review.”

He added: “We have supported the two impacted households and have put a suitable small diversion in place.

“Local businesses will also be supported with bespoke signage as part of the diversion route.

“We apologise to the residents impacted by this delay in works and will continue to liaise with them as soon as we are able to with any new information.”