WORK to replace sections of Ovingham Bridge, which was due to get under way on Monday, was put on hold after flooding affected the diversion route.

Northumberland County Council is carrying out work on the bridge, which involves removing and replacing the pedestrian area in sections, allowing pedestrians to use the road section until it reopens on September 1.

But a section of the diversion route for cars, via Wylam Bridge and Crawcrook, was flooded at the weekend, and Northumberland County Council was unable to start work until Tuesday afternoon.

The closure had received criticism due to it taking place at the same time as work by Gateshead Council on the A695 between Prudhoe and Crawcrook to create a new roundabout.

And it has since emerged that Wylam Wood Road, known locally as Hagg Bank, which many have used as a shortcut diversion in and out of Prudhoe, is also to close as of Monday for plumbing works by Northumbrian Water.

It means motorists will have to follow the diversion the council is recommending, which leads to the roundabout roadworks.

Coun. Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County Council said everything was being done to ensure disruption was kept to a minimum. “We did consider postponing them when we heard that Gateshead’s scheme was going to require continuous traffic light controls. However this would have incurred significant additional costs to the public purse, and it was important to get the footbridge repaired during the quieter summer holiday period. The work will go ahead and we will get it done as quickly as we can.”