More needs to be done to avoid traffic chaos in Whitby ahead of another year of proposed swing bridge closures

Whitby Town Council has called on North Yorkshire County Council to better plan its management of the town’s historic swing bridge ahead of planned closures of it over busy periods of the year.

By Emma Ryan
Saturday, 19th March 2022, 6:12 am

It is being proposed that the swing bridge, which links the east and west sides of Whitby in the heart of the town centre, will be closed to traffic at peak times over a range of dates covering 248 days between April 15 and December 18, due to concerns that have been mounting over recent years about conflicts between people and vehicles on the narrow bridge.

These include Easter and bank holidays and weekends during the school summer holidays and October half-term.

However, the town authority says other dates such as Goth weekend should be included and extra signs and warnings put up and publicised to help tourists navigate road closures, which last year led to traffic chaos with cars turning round once they got to the bridge and congestion as there is only one main road in and out of the town centre on both sides of the bridge.

Whitby swing bridge is set to be closed to traffic again at certain times of the year but the town council has called in North Yorkshire County Council to better plan the closure.

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“The Town Council’s view remains that it objects to the current approach to temporary closure of the Swing Bridge and that the Highways Department of North Yorkshire should work much harder to inform road users about what is going on and to mitigate the knock-on effects of closing-off the bridge at busy times.”

Whitby Town Council has invited the county council to its next meeting to discuss the issue.

The bridge becomes crowded at peak times leading to problems with pedestrians and vehicles crossing at the same time. Safety fears have prompted NYCC to take action and implement temporary closures.