'Long-awaited' Whitby transport upgrade to begin

Whitby and swing bridge Whitby's landmark town centre swing bridge was built in 1909

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A £4m programme to "transform" the transport network of a North Yorkshire coastal town will begin in September.

The "long-awaited" work will include improvements to Whitby's landmark swing bridge and a new park and ride scheme, a spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said.

Gareth Dadd, executive member for highways, said the town "rightly deserved" the planned improvements.

The upgrade is expected to be completed by March 2015.

'Pivotal role'

The improvements to the swing bridge, which was built in 1909, will begin in mid-September at a cost of about £250,000, the council said.

The work will include repairs to the east and west piers of the bridge, new navigation lights and repainting.

The bridge's computerised technology will also be updated so faults can be tracked and located precisely.

Funded by the Department for Transport, work on the town's new park and ride scheme, which will be constructed on the A171 west of Whitby, is expected to be ready for operation by spring 2014.

Whitby conservative councillor Joe Plant said the "long-awaited" improvement programme would be welcomed by "long-suffering" local residents after years of congestion.

Andy Wilson, North York Moors National Park Authority chief executive, said the upgrade recognised the seaside town's "pivotal role in tourism".

Work on a new rights of way network is also due to begin in the Esk Valley, including improvements to paths and bridleways at Castleton, Grosmont and Goathland, south of Whitby and near Robin Hood's Bay.

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