A broken footbridge which stopped an elderly neighbour seeing his dying friend is due to be fixed.

Work is expected to begin on the footbridge in Hull’s Mill Lane, Sible Hedingham, this week.

Resident Ronald Green, 92, first reported a missing bridge plank in May but was dismayed when all the slats were removed and the bridge was left impassable for more than three months.

During that time he was unable to cross the ford to seeing his friend Peter Gagen as it was too dangerous.

Dr Green said: “I regret the delay but am pleased that the work is now going to be finished by next week.”

The bridge is also part of the Pauline Stevens Walk which includes a path named after Mr Gagen as it crosses land he provided.

Essex County Council has apologised for the inconvenience but said it was necessary to close the bridge for health and safety reasons as the deterioration of the decking was quite severe.