THE politician responsible for overseeing North Yorkshire’s highways has warned a town faces major traffic disruption when a bridge is closed for urgent safety checks.
Selby’s swing bridge will be closed to traffic throughout the weekend to allow the annual programme of maintenance work to be carried out.
The town was hit by a series of major roadworks schemes in the autumn last year which led to an outcry from traders, but North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for highways, Coun Gareth Dadd, stressed that every effort will be made to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum.
He added: “There were significant issues last year in Selby, which unfortunately could not be helped. The work we are carrying out on the swing bridge is vital, and we will be doing all we can to lessen the impact on the town’s roads.
“But this is an annual programme of work which needs to be carried out to ensure that the bridge can continue to operate safely and effectively.”
The maintenance work will include replacing electronics, updating computer software which control six hydraulic jacks that lift the bridge into the open and closed position, and checking CCTV cameras. Street lighting teams will replace lamps and bulbs as well as checking navigation lights, while gullies and drainage systems will also be cleared.
The closure will take place from 6am on Saturday to 8pm on Sunday, and diversion will be in place taking traffic through the town centre over the old toll bridge. Signs have been placed at the site to warn motorists of the closure.
The swing bridge, which opened in 2004, spans more than 300ft over the River Ouse and is capable of swinging 90 degrees to open to river traffic within two minutes of a request being made.