Contingency plan put into action for bridge breakdown

Whitby Swing Bridge Closure
Whitby Swing Bridge Closure

Contingency plans drawn up after the break down of Whitby swing bridge last summer were called into action sooner than engineers hoped last week.

The bridge, over 100 years old, failed to close after a routine opening on Thursday morning - leaving the town cut off on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year so far.

When bridge engineers couldn’t fix the problem specialist hydraulic and electrical engineers were drafted in.

While they worked to rectify the breakdown the contingency plan was launched.

North Yorkshire County Council set up road closure signs and Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) staff arranged for free shuttle buses to be put in place.

Notices informing residents and visitors of the bridge malfunction and the alternative travel arrangements were also posted.

Council staff were also mobilised to help members of the public while the bridge was closed to road traffic.

The bridge, which was stuck in the open position for over a week in the height of summer last year, was reopened to pedestrians later in the morning after the two leafs of the bridge were manually brought back together.

Traffic diversions remained in place for several more hours so engineers could carry out work and finish testing and it was fully reopened to traffic shortly after 3pm.

A spokesperson for SBC said the authority was awaiting a report from the engineers who worked on the bridge, into the exact nature of the failure.