PEOPLE in Wilton have been left confused and angry after council contractors moved in to carry out repairs on a bridge – then moved straight back out again because the paperwork hasn’t been done.

Business owners and residents were already concerned about the impact of the closure of parts of North Street while a 17-week programme of works is carried out.

Now, they say workmen spent a week setting up barriers, moving skips in and putting up diversion signs, only to take it all away on Tuesday.

Teresa Bond, who lives in North Street, branded the exercise a “ridiculous waste of time and money” and said she had asked one of the workers for an explanation and was told they have to move out for “health and safety reasons”.

The council is closing two bridges at the A36 end of the road one at a time to carry out essential works.

Works were due to start on May 24 but were delayed due to a hold-up on another project and rescheduled to start at the end of June.

While the work is carried out the one-way street will be made two-way, then will revert to one-way once it has been finished.

Wilton councillor Peter Edge said: “Everybody is really frustrated. This work was supposed to start in May. It is now July, so when is it going to start?

“We know it is going to cause problems and we just want to get it over with as soon as possible.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said the delay will be minimal and work will start within a week.

He said: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delay in these works, however we take health and safety in construction extremely seriously.

“Mouchel Group is employed to advise the council on its health and safety obligations. These regulations are designed to ensure risks to construction workers and the public during construction and maintenance are minimised through careful design and preparation.

“In this instance, the co-ordinator identified a concern regarding the method proposed by the contractor to support part of Burdens Ball Bridge during the demolition and reconstruction phase of the work.

"This method did not match the one specified by the designer. As a result, work cannot start on site until this issue has been resolved.”