Whitby Swing Bridge 'unreliable, inadequate and too small for modern demands'

I must express my concern at what Cllr Mackenzie describes as a long-term solution for Whitby swing bridge - cutting the town in half at the busiest times of the year (Whitby Gazette, April 8).

Friday, 7th May 2021, 12:30 pm

That it is necessary in the short term is only because of similar short term thinking over many years.

The problem is that the swing bridge is now not only unreliable but totally inadequate.

It may have been good enough a century ago when traffic, population and tourism were totally different.

Whitby Swing Bridge

Unnoticed it seems by our short term political representatives, many things have changed in the last century.

The bridge is too small for modern demands, it is very slow in operation, labour intensive and no matter what the engineers say every time they repair it, it is, as I say, unreliable.

There is room on both sides of the river for a wider and modern bridge.

I visit the Netherlands often where efficient bridges are erected almost daily to improve traffic flow, both waterborne and otherwise.

They are normally operated by one person.

A push button initiates a warning signal, traffic lights, gate closure and bridge lifting or turning in a fraction of the time we wait here.

A temporary mobile footbridge is normally installed for people to cross during the surprisingly short installation, the bridges being prefabricated.

This is a port, the moving bridge is essential, so why, politics apart, has this not been seriously considered over the past many years?

The £400,000 ‘to pay for the infrastructure needed to carry out the trial’ (just a first payment?) could have been a first payment on a bridge.

Yes, I know there are many demands on the public purse - and yes, the traffic-free plan is needed, but only because of past failure.

It should not be seen as ‘the long term solution’.

Eric Walton

Harrowing Drive, Whitby