Bridge fears force closure of port glass recycling facility

A RECYCLING bank for glass has had to be removed in Whitby as collection trucks are too heavy to cross the town's historic swing bridge after weight restrictions were dramatically increased.

Scarborough Borough Council has confirmed the recycling facility has had to be taken away from Church Street because of the revised weight limits to prevent a repeat of the summer's chaotic scenes when the bridge failed.

The Yorkshire Post revealed last month that a 7.5-tonne loading restriction was to be put in place to reduce the amount of heavy traffic using the crossing, which had a previous 17-tonne limit.

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The increased weight restrictions have meant vehicles including refuse wagons, coaches and some delivery trucks are not able to use the crossing.

Scarborough Council's environment manager, Steve Reynolds, admitted that the new weight limit has impacted on the authority's waste collection service as many of its vehicles are above 7.5 tonnes.

He added: "The vehicle used for glass collections from Church Street is above this weight limit and despite our best efforts, we feel it is hazardous to traffic to try to turn the vehicle round before the bridge.

"It will be appreciated that glass is the heaviest material we collect for recycling and hence a large vehicle is necessary to accommodate a viable load.

"The public can be assured that we are looking at how to address the issue, but in the interim we felt we should remove the bins from this site."

The council has stressed that there are other glass recycling collection points in the town, including Whitehall Landing, the Green Lane Centre and New Bridge lay-by, which are continuing to operate.

Traders were left reeling after losing thousands of pounds when the swing bridge was left stuck open for nine days due to a mechanical problem earlier this summer, with the east side of the town isolated from crowds of visitors on the western half.

While the bridge reopened on July 30 following the initial failure, it broke down again in August for the third time in only two months. Repairs have since been carried out, although the council had to abandon planned maintenance last week because of the severe weather.