Frustrated residents in two Denbighshire communities continue to face miles of diversions while waiting for an historic bridge to be replaced.

Llanerch Bridge, which linked Trefnant and Tremeirchion, collapsed into the River Clwyd in January 2021 when Storm Christoph struck causing flooding.

The Grade II listed bridge is yet to be replaced, meaning residents are stuck with a seven-mile diversion that many say has damaged local businesses as fewer people travel between the two communities.

As well as linking Trefnant and Tremeirchion, the bridge was also used by drivers as a link to come off the A55 and travel to Denbigh.

Consequently, concerned councillors claim delivery companies are increasing charges, including those for prescriptions.

One year ago, around 100 residents took part in a protest, but almost three years after its collapse, work is yet to start on the bridge with both Denbighshire and Welsh Government facing criticism.

The Welsh Government has said £380,000 has been given to Denbighshire Council for work on the bridge project.

The council has said progress is being made towards building a new bridge.

But Tremeirchion councillor Chris Evans is unhappy and says residents are struggling.

Cllr Evans claims he raised the issue a month ago as an urgent matter but says the council is yet to update him on progress.

“Mark Drakeford (First Minister) said there would be no more funding for infrastructure projects in Wales,” he said.

“So I asked (at an earlier council meeting) where does that leave us with Llanerch Bridge? It is coming up to three years.

“The council officers are going here, there, and everywhere to try and get funding, to get grants to do it.

“No work has even started. It is all being done behind closed doors. Nothing proactive is coming out of it. We are no closer to getting the bridge.

“We’ve got elderly residents in the area that are needing it. It is taking people longer to get to Denbigh when there are personal and family issues.”

He added: “I know it is written into the corporate plan, but our concern is is this going to be put on the back-burner?

“Is anything going to happen? People have to travel round the houses, and the roads in that area are in a terrible state.

“They are breaking up. The amount of (diverted) traffic, they are not meant for that.”

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “We fully recognise the frustrations that no replacement bridge has been put in place.

“This is a very complex project, and we are working extremely hard with all partners to move it forward as quickly as possible to help meet the needs of the surrounding communities.

“The council now has the funding so that the detailed design of the bridge can go ahead.

“This will include works on site to carry out ground investigation, and we are currently in discussion with the appropriate landowners so that access arrangements to do this work can go ahead.

“Once the detailed design stage is complete, we will be in a position to submit a business case to Welsh Government with a request to fund the construction of a replacement bridge.”

He added: “We are also committed to keeping the communities updated about this situation and have released newsletters to the community about the issue as well as attending meetings to help inform residents.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We have awarded Denbighshire County Council £380,000 from our Resilient Roads Fund for work on a new bridge across the River Clwyd.”