Stiffkey residents could have to wait until this time next year for the National Trust to build a new bridge over marshes, according to North Norfolk’s MP.

The previous bridge was removed in March last year after it was deemed structurally unsafe.

Locals have been desperately calling for the National Trust, who own the land, to replace the bridge ever since.

The charity had said it could cost up to £250,000.

Calls for a new crossing intensified earlier this month when two people and their dog had to be rescued by RNLI lifeboat crews after becoming cut-off by the tide.

Now, North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker has said he hopes a new bridge can be installed by spring 2024.

READ MORE: National Trust says Stiffkey marsh bridge WILL be replaced

Fakenham & Wells Times: The old Stiffkey bridge, which was removed last yearThe old Stiffkey bridge, which was removed last year (Image: Newquest)

READ MORE: Call for new bridge after couple cut off on marsh

“We’re trying to convince the National Trust that, based primarily on people’s safety, it is paramount to get this bridge back,” he said.

“It’s no longer a matter of if but when it will be replaced.

“We have to work with National Trust to deliver it in the next 12 months.”

MP Baker said the “step forward” comes on the back of a “productive” meeting last month between himself, Stiffkey residents and the National Trust’s regional director for the Midlands and East of England Paul Forecast.

READ MORE: Anger over National Trust Stiffkey marsh bridge update

Fakenham & Wells Times: North Norfolk MP Duncan BakerNorth Norfolk MP Duncan Baker (Image: Stuart Anderson)

The National Trust has said it is in the “final stages” of deciding on the requirements for the new bridge, ahead of moving into the initial design stage of the project.

It said it could not give a timescale as to when the replacement will be in place.

Lifelong Stiffkey resident and bridge campaigner Ian Curtis has called for the National Trust to “get their act together”.

“People have been going over the marshes for hundreds of years but now they feel cut-off,” he said.

“Locals know the tide but it’s the visitors who are in danger.

“We will keep going and won’t stop applying pressure on the National Trust until it’s done.”