Consultation launched on 'ambitious' £2.3 million improvements to area around Whitby's historic swing bridge
North Yorkshire Council and the Whitby Town Deal have been awarded the money from the Government’s Town Fund, which supports regeneration and long-term economic growth.
Designs are inspired by Whitby’s eye-catching Jurassic coastline surrounding the swing bridge, which is essential to connecting both sides of the town.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “Whitby draws thousands of tourists each year who come to admire its heritage, gothic traditions, beaches and its location on the Jurassic Coast.
“This pedestrian-focused scheme offers the opportunity to enhance the public spaces and green infrastructure around the Whitby Swing Bridge, improving the experience for visitors and enhancing the quality of life for residents.
“We are encouraging people to look at the proposals and share their views as we shape the project going forward. By utilising this money, we look to celebrate Whitby’s past whilst adapting to the needs of today and preparing for the future.”
The scheme would see the removal of the roundabout and traffic islands on New Quay Road at the junction with Langbourne Road and Station Square to make way for wider pavements, new seating, planters and trees.
On the east of the swing bridge, more space will be allocated for pedestrians to enjoy the view of the harbour.
The turning area on the former Tin Ghaut car park will be made more appealing with the installation of a small park with planting, seating and an archway to frame the harbour.
New traffic signals are proposed at the Spital Bridge, Larpool Lane and A171 junction. The existing signalised pedestrian crossing and island would be removed, and new pedestrian crossings installed.
Cllr Neil Swannick, who represents Whitby Streonshalh on North Yorkshire Council, said: "I hope that Whitby residents will take part in this consultation.
"Making the Spital Bridge, Larpool Lane and A171 junction more user-friendly both for pedestrians and road users, and improving the Tin Ghaut turning circle will hopefully make life easier on the east side, especially when the bridge is closed.
“The proposed new road layout with wider pavements on the west side will be safer and reflects changing priorities.”
A number of exhibitions will be held at Whitby Coliseum Centre theatre with project officers on hand to answer any questions.
The first is today (Friday, November 10) from 10am to 7pm. The other dates and times are as follows:
· Wednesday, November 15, from 10am to 7pm.
· Saturday, November 18, from 11am to 4pm.
The deadline for comments is Friday, December 22, and the survey can be found on North Yorkshire Council’s website at www.northyorks.gov.uk/WhitbyPublicRealm
The findings of the consultation will be presented to a meeting of the corporate director for environment, Karl Battersby, and Cllr Duncan, where a decision will be made on how the scheme proceeds.
If approved, work would start in late next year or early 2025 with a scheduled completion date of spring 2025.
The current swing bridge, which spans 75ft, was built in 1908. It links the upper and lower harbour areas and the east and west sides of the town.