Yorkshire bridge damaged in Boxing Day floods re-opens to unite villages

A bridge which was severely damaged during the notorious floods of Boxing Day 2015 has finally re-opened to traffic.

The Grade II-listed Linton Bridge, which crosses the River Wharfe between Linton and Collingham, has cost over £5million to repair since the disastrous flooding made its foundations unsafe.

The Department of Transport has footed the bill to reunite the two villages near Wetherby, and a temporary shuttle bus was introduced to ferry people between the settlements.

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The closure had an adverse effect on businesses, as many drivers faced a nine-mile add-on to their journeys.

Janet Bilton, landlady of The Windmill in Collingham, said:

“The closure has affected me quite badly. It’s a nine-mile round trip now for our customers coming from Collingham, who’s going to drive that?”

Julian Holmes, chairman of Collingham with Linton Parish Council, added: “The pubs are going to suffer from lack of people crossing and the school buses have had to change routes. It’s an inconvenience for hundreds of people but it could have been a lot worse.”

An official opening ceremony on Saturday saw Lord Mayor of Leeds Coun Jane Dowson cut the ribbon to unveil the new bridge and become the first person to cross it.

All photos courtesy of Leeds City Council.