A YEAR after floods swept away a listed bridge in Denbighshire, a Plaid Cymru MS is demanding greater urgency to help repair the link between two villages.

Llanerch Bridge, which provided a crossing over the River Clwyd between Trefnant and Tremeirchion, and was used as a route to the A55, collapsed during Storm Christoph on January 21, 2021.

Residents have had to drive seven miles around the river since the storm. The bridge was used by around 1,600 vehicles a day as drivers avoided St Asaph en-route to the A55.

Denbighshire County Council was expected to seek £6m-£7m from the Welsh Government to rebuild the bridge - but very little progress has been made in the space of a year.

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales MS, said Pont Llannerch was an 'important and historic' bridge.

He added: "It's been a year since the bridge was swept away and, while I accept various public bodies have faced other challenges in the past year, I'm disappointed at the lack of progress.

"Back in August I was told that Denbighshire Council was assessing the options for a new bridge. I understand that this is a costly job, not least because it's not the only bridge under threat from the climate emergency and extreme weather events.

"The historic nature of the bridge and the need to future proof it against further flooding means that both Natural Resources Wales and CADW are involved in this project. Restoring a listed stone bridge of this scale is, I understand, going to cost many millions and councils such as Denbighshire will need help to fund such a costly project. The local community now needs to know where they stand and what the timescales are likely to be."

Plaid Cymru Councillor Meirick Lloyd-Davies, who represents the Trefnant ward, said: "I'm looking forward to ensuring that the local community is kept updated about this historic bridge, which is an important link between local communities.

"Local residents have faced long detours and extra journeys because this link between Trefnant and Tremeirchion has gone and we need to see the likes of CADW, which is responsible for listed buildings, stepping up to the plate. What's the point in listing an historic bridge if you're not prepared to fund its repair?"

Mr Gruffydd added: "I know the council is facing challenges with other bridges across the county and has to future proof many structures against climate change, in particular flooding, as we go forward. It's impossible for them to deliver major infrastructure projects without significant support from the Welsh Government.

"This is not an isolated problem and so it needs a coordinated programme to ensure we have a sustainable and resilient transport network for the future. Both NRW and CADW should also be making the case for funding to Welsh Government. Otherwise we will be without bridges like Pont Llannerch for many years to come."

Denbighshire County Council has been approached for comment.