This Whitby Swing Bridge closure must be scrapped before town faces financial ruin – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: John Nock, Whitby.

RESIDENTS in Whitby will be all too well aware of the experimental closure of the swing bridge that connects the two halves of our town.

East and West of Whitby are separated by the River Esk estuary but joined by this bridge. This has been the case for a few hundred years.

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Protests and complaints have been ignored by North Yorkshire County Council who recently announced that they were ending the experiment earlier than expected. This brought joy to us, but it was short-lived.

The future of Whitby Swing Bridge continues to cause consternation.

They will be designing a “perfect version” of the scheme this year, for implementation 
in 2023, having collected sufficient data from their experiment to move forward with confidence.

This will entail the permanent loss of the parking spaces in Tin Ghaut, implementation of a turning circle at the bottom of Golden Lion Bank, enforced prohibition of traffic onto St Anne’s Staith, with consequently severely restricted access to Haggersgate, Pier Road and Khyber Pass.

There will, however, be improvements to the Spital Bridge junction at Helredale Road. However, they have not disclosed the data.

Traffic entering town from Spital Bridge or Baxtergate will have to turn round in order to find a parking space, with resultant congestion, increased pollution from exhaust 
emissions and frustration of pedestrians and drivers inconvenienced by this poorly conceived scheme.

The future of Whitby Swing Bridge continues to cause consternation.

All are angry at this enforced division of the community.

Funding for this ludicrous project is expected to come from the Town Deal.

This is a fund set up by the Government to help the towns that got left behind, and 
Whitby’s share of this fund is £17.1m.

Of this, £2.6m has been allocated to the pedestrianisation of the swing bridge and £400,000 has already been handed over for the experiment.

The future of Whitby Swing Bridge continues to cause consternation.

North Yorkshire County Council did say that “towards the end of the trial, a written report containing all comments received (from an earlier consultation) would be prepared”. This should now be published.

Bear in mind that the Town Deal is set up to improve the 
lives of residents and our visitors, and the prosperity of the town and it is still provided by taxation of one sort or another.

The taxpayer deserves something better than a 
vanity project that is divisive, unwanted and most of all, not needed.

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