York & North Yorkshire

Duke of York 'saddened' by flood-hit Tadcaster bridge

Prince Andrew shaking a flood-hit homeowner's hand Image copyright PA
Image caption The Duke of York met resident Derek Hope at his damaged property in Tadcaster

The Duke of York said he was "saddened" to see the damage caused to an 18th Century bridge, during a visit to flood-hit communities across Yorkshire.

Prince Andrew surveyed remnants of the stone bridge at Tadcaster, in North Yorkshire, which partially collapsed into the River Wharfe on 29 December.

He said he encountered "shock and devastation" from people in flooded communities during his tour.

Hundreds of homes were badly affected after heavy rainfall on 26 December.

The duke said: "Saddened to see such a wonderful old bridge in a damaged state.

"But what encourages me is that there is a plan - first of all for a footbridge, then to support the structure and then to get on and recover the stonework that's underneath and get back to building it.

"But it's going to take some time."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Prince Andrew was taken through the plans for rebuilding the 18th Century listed structure by county council senior engineer Andrew Wood
Image copyright PA
Image caption The duke said it had been "a very interesting lesson to me in what the dynamics are in a flood"

The council has said the work will cost £3m and take up to a year to complete.

Residents face a half-hour drive from one side of the town, which is now split, to the other.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The royal visitor talked to a number of shopkeepers whose businesses were inundated last week, including this ironmonger's shop

"It's been a very difficult time but I get a sense, talking to people both here and in Leeds, that the community has pulled together in a way that is really encouraging," said the duke.

His tour of Yorkshire was hampered earlier in the day when a planned start in Todmorden was scuppered by poor weather, preventing his helicopter from landing.

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