BEWDLEY traders are fearful that the bridge closing could cost them thousands of pounds in lost trade.

Bewdley Bridge is set to close from August 29 until September 22 for traffic as work to install new flood defences on Beales Corner begins to ramp up. 

The bridge will remain open to pedestrians. 

The main construction work is set to take place in October, with Stourport Road set to be closed and the Kidderminster Road reduced to one carriageway. The Environment Agency has said that it's estimated this could be for 18 to 22 months.

Jon May, owner of award-winning gift shop Mooch on Load Street, said the bridge being open is "vital" for trade.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Bewdley Bridge is set to close whilst construction work is carried out Bewdley Bridge is set to close whilst construction work is carried out (Image: Martin Priest)

He said: "When the bridge is closed our trade is down by 60 per cent.

"I think we all very much appreciate that the work has to be done but we are concerned in relation to our businesses and our livelihoods because high streets are struggling at the moment anyway."

Hossey Saghri, who owns The Mug House Inn and Restaurant on Severn Side North, said he's concerned about his business and has been having "sleepless nights."

"I anticipate we'll lose tens of thousands of pounds, he said.

"We are very lucky they agreed to change the start date until after the Bank Holiday weekend". 

Kidderminster Shuttle: An artist's impression of the proposed defences at Beales Corner An artist's impression of the proposed defences at Beales Corner (Image: Environment Agency)

Antony Akathiotis, the owner of fish and chip shop Merchants, said: "It's hard enough at the moment with everything going on - gas and electricity prices, rates going up".

He added that he feels free parking should be introduced to encourage more people to visit the town during the disruption.

There is a public meeting with businesses and residents at St George’s Hall in Bewdley on August 17 at 5pm to discuss the traffic management options during the main construction phase of the project in October.

Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier said he is looking into ways of mitigating the issues during the building work but admitted that "inevitably there's going to be problems".

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Beales Corner is subject to significant flooding from the River Severn and has a long history of flooding, most recently in 2020, 2021 and 2022 when homes and businesses were flooded and the wider community impacted. This much-needed scheme will help better protect homes and businesses in the town.   

“Whilst works are taking place, it is important to us that Bewdley is kept open, and that impacts to businesses and travel are kept to a minimum. We will continue to work closely with the local council to ensure the timely communication of any necessary road closures or changes to traffic and transport services.”