Whitby Swing Bridge trial closure to be extended to seven days a week - here's when it starts
The current trial closure of Whitby Swing Bridge to vehicles on weekends and bank holidays is to be extended to daily until the end of the busy summer season.
Vehicles will be prohibited between 10.30am and 4pm seven days a week, with an exemption for buses and vehicles responding to an emergency call.
This amendment to the current trial will begin on Friday August 20 – the day before Whitby Regatta starts – and will run every day until Sunday October 31, after which it will return to weekend and bank holiday only closures.
North Yorkshire County Cllr Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “So far we have seen great safety benefits from the weekend and bank holiday closures and we believe it is necessary to trial weekday closures due to the increasing number of visitors expected throughout summer.
“To direct visitors to the nearest available car park, especially when the bridge is closed, seven interactive messaging signs are in place.
“Testing the effects of exempting buses, and vehicles travelling to an emergency call-out will help to assess the success of the trial and we hope it will be met with support.
“As taxis will not be exempt from the closures, we will add spaces for two hackney carriages to use as a rank in the Tin Ghaut turning area.
“We will continue to monitor consultation comments received as the experimental scheme continues, and bring forward any further proposals for amendments should the need arise.”
On Grape Lane, vehicles will be prohibited from waiting and loading from 10.30am to 4pm daily. This change is to make enforcement easier.
The daily March to September restrictions on St Ann’s Staith, Pier Road, Haggersgate and Khyber Pass will remain year-round.
The trial began at the start of April under an experimental traffic order that allows for amendments to be made and for the public to continually comment while the trial is happening.
County Cllr Joe Plant, who represents Whitby Streonshalh, said: “Taking into account how busy the summer period can be, coupled with the rise in Covid cases reported recently, for everyone’s safety, I support the proposal to trial seven-day closures of the swing bridge.
"I am pleased that these daily closures will not be open-ended, but will revert to weekend and bank holiday only from November 1, to coincide with the end of this year’s Whitby Park and Ride service operation.”
Whitby Town Mayor, Cllr Linda Wild, said that Whitby Town Council recognised the ambition of the experimental closure when it was launched last year.
"Throughout the season, it’s not just weekends that are busy days," she said.
"I appreciate that the effects of the experiment can’t be fully seen unless it is trialled seven days a week.
"I hope local people take this renewed opportunity to tell the county council how they are being affected and that richer data help to tell the story of the impact of this experiment on residents and visitors alike.
"I look forward to seeing the results at the end of the trial.”
Whitby Town Deal Board has secured £400,000 of fast-track Government funding to pay for the infrastructure needed to carry out the trial, which is being implemented by the County Council’s highways team.
The trial links to the wider town deal goals for Whitby.
More than 800 properties nearest to the swing bridge will receive a letter explaining the changes and reminding them of how to give their comments.
Visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/whitby-swing-bridge to take part in the highways consultation.