Whitby Swing Bridge: next phase of weekend closures to restart for Easter holidays

A traffic-free initiative on Whitby’s historic swing bridge will restart this weekend to improve safety and support the town’s economy.
Whitby Swing Bridge weekend closures to due top restart.Whitby Swing Bridge weekend closures to due top restart.
Whitby Swing Bridge weekend closures to due top restart.

The trial closures introduced in April 2021 proved successful after traffic congestion during peak tourism periods sparked safety concerns.

The next phase of closures of Whitby Swing Bridge will begin this weekend (Mar 23) and run until the end of August.

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The bridge will be closed to traffic between 10.30am and 4pm daily during weekends in the school holidays as well as Bank Holidays and special events, with an exemption for buses.

Seven interactive messaging signs will be in place to direct visitors to the nearest available car park.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “The first weekend closure of the swing bridge will once again be introduced in time for the Easter school holidays and continue on weekends and bank holidays, when we expect Whitby to be particularly busy.

“To make sure it operates as efficiently as possible, we have interactive signs in place on the main approaches to the town.”

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As well as school and bank holidays, the traffic-free measure will be in place for Whitby Goth weekends on April 27 and 28, and November 2 and 3.

On Whitby Regatta from August 17 to 19, also the start of Whitby Folk Week, the bridge will be closed until 6pm.

Cllr Neil Swannick, who represents the Whitby Streonshalh division on North Yorkshire Council, said: “The bridge closures are essential in addressing safety concerns around overcrowding, as we expect visitor numbers to be at an all-time high for another year.

“While this measure will undoubtedly be seen as an inconvenience by some, I am sure that residents, businesses and visitors, will understand the need for a traffic-free zone at peak times in the interests of safety.”

The current swing bridge, built in 1908, links the upper and lower harbour areas and the east and west sides of the town.

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