Devon County Council has been forced to shut the 133-year-old former railway bridge as emergency repairs are needed. The closure comes after a routine underwater inspection revealed corrosion in the large steel columns which sit in the river and support the bridge. The bridge carries a shared pedestrian and cycle path over the River Taw and links Rock Park to Seven Brethren. A signed diversion will be in place via Barnstaple Long Bridge, and the public are advised to allow additional time for journeys. A statement from the county council said: “We apologise for any inconvenience and aim to reopen the bridge as soon as possible.” It isn’t the first time the bridge has been put out of action. It was closed for a prolonged period in 2016 after a refurbishment project uncovered old layers of paint with potential health risks.