Whitby Swing Bridge breaks down leaving pedestrians and vehicles stranded

Scarborough Council has confirmed that Whitby Swing Bridge has broken down and is not operational today.

Whitby Swing Bridge
Whitby Swing Bridge

The Swing Bridge, which was built in 1909, suffered a breakdown on Friday morning and cannot now be used by either vehicles or pedestrians. A replacement bus will be provided to take visitors across the River Esk.

Scarborough Council said: "Whitby Swing Bridge has suffered a breakdown this morning which means it can't be used by cars or pedestrians. Our colleagues from North Yorkshire County Council have sent a team of engineers to assess the problem and a replacement bus is being sorted. Thanks for your patience."

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The breakdown comes just weeks after a signage error by a contractor led to 'chaos' when the bridge was mistakenly left open during a traffic-free pilot scheme.

Since Easter vehicles have been prohibited from using the Swing Bridge between 10.30am and 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays as part of a pedestrianisation trial.

North Yorkshire councillor Joe Plant said the county council’s new in-house highways contractor did not put up signs on June 5 letting drivers know the bridge was supposed to be closed, leading to much confusion among motorists and pedestrians.

He said that the situation turned quickly into chaos with pedestrians expecting the bridge to be closed but vehicles still crossing.

The trial closure of the historic Swing Bridge is hoped to reduce traffic congestion in the popular seaside town, where the bridge is the most convenient way to cross from the west side over to the east.

Originally the plan was to implement the Swing Bridge restrictions for seven days a week but feedback from the first stage of consultation showed that the public preferred the bridge to be closed on fewer days.