Business owners losing out on trade due to road closures caused by the shutting of Dauntsey Lock Railway Bridge have welcomed a move to re-open one of the routes.

The bridge shut on March 8 for electrification works, and a month later three lanes that were being used as rat-runs by drivers avoiding the official diversion route were also closed on safety grounds, after residents reported speeding and damage to grass verges.

Bowd’s Lane, Trow Lane and the lane from Tockenham Wick to Grittenham were closed to everyone apart from residents, infuriating business owners worried about losing customers.

Now Wiltshire Council plans to build two passing bays on Bowds Lane.

Once these are completed in a couple of week’s time, then the lane will be re-opened.

Tim Webb, who runs the Pound Farm Shop in Lyneham, said his business has been hit by the road closures, with customer numbers dropping by a third.

He said: “It’s good news for us, every little bit helps.

“This is a start – this is the best road to be opened because it brings all the traffic from Brinkworth and there’s a lot of people who live in Bradenstoke and their children go to school in Dauntsey.”

Bowds Lane will be re-opened under a traffic order, so if people are caught speeding or driving on the verges then it will be closed again until the works are completed.