A major road in St Albans has reopened two months ahead of schedule after a dangerous building was made safe.

Old London Road has been shut since May near the junction with Watson’s Walk due to concerns a barn could collapse.

St Albans District Council believed debris could suddenly crash onto the adjoining pavement and part of the road so a decision was made to close the street.

Residents, businesses and visitors had to use alternative routes to get to and from addresses.

Council officers traced the barn owners to make them aware of their legal responsibility to carry out essential work to make the building safe. Initial efforts were unsuccessful and the council was preparing to apply to Magistrates’ Court for permission to access the private property and secure it, which would have taken at least another two months.

However, after persistent approaches by the council, the owner agreed to undertake the remedial work and scaffolding has been put up to make the structure safe.

Following this, Hertfordshire County Council authorised the reopening of Old London Road earlier this week.

Councillor Jamie Day, responsible for planning, said: "I am delighted this saga has been brought to an end and the barn has been made safe. I can understand that people were getting frustrated as nothing appeared to be happening to fix the problem.

"However, we were working hard behind the scenes with Hertfordshire County Council to find a solution. I’m pleased that we have now done so by gaining the cooperation of the property owner rather than by going to court. This has resulted in the road reopening a lot earlier than we had feared."