Listed 17th-century Kexby Old Bridge over the River Derwent near York will never re-open to drivers despite work to make it safe for walkers and cyclists

A centuries-old bridge in a North Yorkshire village which has been closed to traffic for four years is unlikely to ever re-open to vehicles.

East Riding Council, who manage the upkeep of Kexby Old Bridge over the River Derwent, have confirmed plans to stablilise and repair the historic bridge, which shut when major defects were identified in 2017. It was originally damaged in the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

The former toll bridge - which once had a separate pricing structure for horses and carts, bullocks and pedestrians - was built by local landowner Sir Roger Tresuer in 1650 and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument with a Grade II listing.

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Walkers and cyclists have still been allowed across it since the closure but motor vehicles are prohibited and instead use the nearby A1079 road bridge.

Kexby Old Bridge
Kexby Old Bridge

The council confirmed that access for motorists will still be forbidden when the remedial works are completed at the end of this year.

Coun Chris Matthews said: "The structure spans the River Derwent which, during heavy rainfall, can flood, and this could completely submerge the arches of the bridge. This increased volume and velocity of water could wash out the remaining mortar and the material cementing the masonry together, and the arch could collapse.

"I am therefore delighted that we are now able to carry out these vital works."

The footpath across the bridge will remain open during work. Kexby is on the White Rose Way long-distance walking route between Leeds and Scarborough.