COUNCILLORS on both sides of a bridge which collapsed under the force of Storm Christoph have reacted to suggestions it could take up to 18 months to resolve the situation.

Llanerch bridge, which links Trefnant and Tremeirchion, collapsed on Wednesday - leaving a big hole through the middle of the bridge.

Built in the 1800's, the bridge had been a popular route for cyclists and is a listed building looked after by CADW - the Welsh Government's historic environment service working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales.

A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council said that, although a diversion route taking traffic through via A55 and through St Asaph has been set up, it could be up to a year-and-half before the bridge is fully repaired.

He said: “We have established a diversion route which takes traffic via the A55 and through St. Asaph. This is an important local route and we will seek to resolve this as soon as we are able. Final plans for the bridge will involve a number of third parties and it could take up to 18 months or more to resolve."

Tremeirchion community councillor Dewi Davies believes that 18 months is an 'ambitious' target, but hopes that a 'temporary measure' can be introduced in the meantime.

Cllr Davies, who lives in the village, said: "The bridge being washed away is a huge loss for our community as it has such a great history dating back two hundred-odd years and is a listed building too.

"The bridge has taken a few knocks over the years, there was a crash on it some years ago - so you have to question whether those sort of incidents may have contribute to it collapsing.

"We will be very pleased to see it be re-built, but it isn't going to happen overnight. A period of 18 months is ambitious I think, but hopefully a temporary measure can be put into place whilst that work goes on.

"It's a route that is used often by so many and had become a bit of a rat run in recent times. The number of vehicles travelling over it certainly increased and there had been trouble with vehicles travelling too fast over it also. This is something that was discussed as recent as last week in the virtual community council meeting."

Denbighshire County Councillor Meirick Lloyd-Davies, who represents the Trefnant ward, says the falling of Llanerch Bridge was a 'very sad' day for the area.

He also agreed with Tremeirchion's Cllr Davies calls for a temporary measure to be introduced between the two villages in due course.

Cllr Lloyd-Davies said: "It was a sad day for us to lose such a historic part of our village and river levels were worse than they have ever been before here in Trefnant.

"I sympathise with the people of the village and am glad that nobody was hurt during the incident, as had someone been on the bridge at the time, they would have been swept away due to the force of the river in the storm.

"This is something that definitely needs all of our attention at this moment in time and I do hope that we can afford to put temporary measures in place. I will be making my case to the County Council in due course as leaving it as it is poses a danger to the community."