The Local Government Act 1888 transferred governing powers from the Herefordshire Quarter Sessions to the newly created Herefordshire County Council. These responsibilities included the repair of highways and bridges, with the ability to purchase existing bridges or build new ones. The Roads and Bridges Committee was established to oversee these functions (for minutes 1891 – 1974 see T59/2-13).
Local Government reorganisation in 1974 combined Herefordshire & Worcestershire County Councils. Records pertaining to Herefordshire bridges at this time remained locally in Hereford. The remit of the Bridges Department further changed in 1998 with the break up of Herefordshire & Worcestershire County Council and the emergence of Herefordshire Council. The new unitary authority incorporated Hereford City Council, giving further City responsibility for the Bridges Department.
On September 1 2009, Herefordshire Council and private firm AMEY delivered a major change in the management of bridges in Herefordshire. AMEY Herefordshire now maintains 697 highway bridges across Herefordshire, including 55 designated as Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Grade 2* Listed or Grade 2 Listed.
The Bridges Department was based in Bath Street Council Offices until the early 2000s. When personnel were redeployed to Thorn Business Park, Rotherwas, the bridge plans remained in plan cabinets in situ at Bath Street. These bridge plans were deposited with the Record Office in 2010; shortly after the bridge maintenance function of the Council was transferred to AMEY Herefordshire.
A significant portion of the archive was not identified on site in Bath Street Offices when surveyed in 2010, and has not since been located. This includes plans with the original reference number of BB597 – BB5068, and several that should be found within this collection’s sequence.