Cotswold villagers living in 'England's prettiest street' cut off by road closure due to 'dangerous wall'

Arlington Row in Bibury is currently closed to vehicles.
Arlington Row in Bibury is currently closed to vehicles. -Credit:Carmelo Garcia

A Cotswold street dubbed the prettiest in England has been closed leaving residents “cut off” from emergency service vehicles. Bibury residents who live in the picturesque Arlington Row were cut off after a wall was declared unsafe.

It means residents currently have no vehicular access to their homes and ambulance crews have had to carry patients on a stretcher across a pedestrian bridge instead. Arlington Row is very narrow and Gloucestershire County Council says that due to they were unable to provide access for emergency vehicles.

Resident Valerie Smith was among those who voiced their frustration over the situation at a public meeting at Bibury Village Hall on May 18. She said that residents had been cut off completely.

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“They are completely and utterly shut off,” she said. “They cannot bring their cars into Arlington Row. The little bridge doesn’t take vehicles.

“If there were a fire or ambulance needed they would need to be put on a trolley and taken across the bridge. The likelihood of it being fixed any time soon is an open ended thing. How long can the people in Arlington Row live like this?

Another resident said such a thing happened on Sunday. Paul Johnson said his neighbour was dashed 300 yards to an ambulance. “That’s three times,” he said. He also told the meeting that another neighbour has not been out of his home since the closure.

The road closure in Arlington Row
The road closure in Arlington Row -Credit:Carmelo Garcia

“My son’s stopped coming because of it. One you can’t park and two, you can’t access the row." Mr Johnson said he has had no notification about the closure from the authorities nor an explanation about it.

“You can’t even get logs to your cottage which sounds a trivial thing," he said. “I find it absolutely appalling. It’s been an absolute shambles.”

Cotswold District Council say they have been working with the owner of the wall to remove trees which were the cause of the immediate concern. The wall has since been reinspected and as the immediate danger to the public has been removed.

Arlington Row is a popular destination for tourists
Arlington Row is a popular destination for tourists

Gloucestershire County Council were made aware of this this morning and the road will be reopened by tomorrow evening. A spokesperson for Gloucestershire County Council said: “We have closed the road at Awkward Hill due to safety concerns over a wall at one of the properties.

“Cotswold District Council are working with the owner to ensure the wall is made safe. We will reopen the road as soon as Cotswold District Council structural engineers let us know it is safe to do so.”