Swing Bridge chaos

The Swing Bridge has been repeatedly closed throughout the afternoon while mechanics attempt to fix the fault'w123117'Picture by Ceri Oakes

The Swing Bridge has been repeatedly closed throughout the afternoon while mechanics attempt to fix the fault'w123117'Picture by Ceri Oakes

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WHITBY’S Swing Bridge has suffered another malfunction this week and mechanics are currently working frantically to discover the cause (Friday 3 August).

Throughout the afternoon pedestrians and traffic have been forced to stand and wait while bridge workers attempt to get the 103-year-old crossing reopened.

At around 3pm the operators were finally able to get the bridge open once again.

One pedestrian was reported as having grown so frustrated that he leapt over the closed gates on the East side and ran across the bridge, as he feared he would miss his train.

The bridge operators were unable to confirm the cause of the malfunction, which occurred while routine maintenance was taking place on Thursday morning.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire County Council said: “During routine maintenance work to the Whitby swing bridge yesterday, the bridge failed to open. The fault lies with the jacks that lift the bridge and contractors are currently working round the clock to determine the nature of the problem. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

“The county council took over responsibility for routine maintenance of the bridge, which was built in 1909, early this year. Maintenance work is carried out four times a year in a bid to reduce the likelihood of mechanical failure. However, in a structure of this age things can still go wrong. We are doing everything we can to get the bridge fully working as quickly as possible.”

The fault will once again reopen the debate about the continued suitability of the steel swing bridge which has spanned the river Esk longer than any of its predecessors.