Swing bridge closure for Goth weekend aired

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The town council has backed a suggestion to close the swing bridge to vehicles during Goth weekend after overcrowding last year raised fears over public safety.

At its monthly meeting on Tuesday night, Whitby Town Council voted in favour of the closure being between 11am and 6pm on the Saturday and Sunday of this year’s event, taking place on October 31 and Sunday November 1, and will put its views to the 
highways department at 
the county council.

At the peak of the event last year the bridge became blocked with two lines of traffic while pedestrians also battled to cross the bridge.

Cllr Rebecca Pearson, making the recommendation, said the timescales would allow for deliveries to shops and businesses and by 6pm town had quietened down as festival goers headed towards the 
Pavilion and music events.

She added: “The bridge came under some serious weight with vehicles, pedestrians and traffic trying to cross in both directions while full to capacity with people.

“It was a dangerous situation and closing it to traffic but not pedestrians would alleviate any form of danger of the bridge being overloaded again.

“It is an accident waiting to happen, somebody is going to get hit, there is going to be road rage and all sorts going on on that bridge.”

Cllrs Steve and Amanda Smith and Terry Jennison voted against the motion with Cllr Jennison saying he had no objection to the idea but wouldn’t support the closure just being for Goth weekend.

Cllr Ian Havelock added: “It is not just this particular time, it is throughout the summer but it is a sound idea, there is access from both sides of the new bridge.”