MOTORISTS in Worcestershire have backed calls for a new river crossing to take the pressure off a busy bridge, following a lorry crash last week.

At around 4.30am on Thursday, a lorry carrying 5,000 chickens smashed into the fence of a house on the A4133 after the driver lost control coming off the Holt Fleet Bridge and the vehicle toppled over.

Following the crash, in which around 3,000 chickens died and the fence was destroyed, a number of residents and motorists have said that a new road is needed to ease pressure on the bridge.

In May, 13-year-old Ryan Robins was clipped by a car’s wing mirror as he walked towards Holt Fleet Bridge on the same stretch of road, leaving him with a hairline fracture to his skull.

Afterwards, county council chairman Peter Tomlinson called for a bridge that is “fit for purpose”.

“It’s a very narrow bridge, with a narrow pavement,” said Cllr Tomlinson, who represents Ombersley division, which includes Holt. “There are many people campaigning for a relief road that would take so much traffic off that bridge. It does point up the need for serious action about getting a road bridge that is fit for purpose over the Severn."

Many Worcester News readers supported the idea. Posting on our website, Charles Smith said: "When are the 'powers' that be going to realise that this bridge and stretch of road is no longer fit for purpose? Holt Bridge was fit for purpose many many years ago in the 30s when it carried farm carts, Model T Fords and Austin 7s."

Speaking on Friday, Jon Fraser, Worcestershire County Council’s head of highways, said: “The road is a major key route crossing the River Severn and is covered by a 40mph speed restriction. There are no plans to introduce any further restrictions. The county’s Local Transport Plan, covering the period up to 2030, sets out the issues and our priorities for investment in transport infrastructure.”

The plan refers to a “comprehensive” review of junctions including on the A4133 in Holt Heath but there is no specific mention of the bridge.