York & North Yorkshire

Flood-hit Tadcaster bridge replacement shuttle bus costs £20K

Tadcaster bridge Image copyright PA
Image caption The 300-year-old road bridge collapsed on 29 December, dividing Tadcaster into two halves

About £20,000 has been spent on a shuttle bus service to transport Tadcaster residents across the River Wharfe following the partial collapse of the town's only bridge.

The free service has been used by an estimated 2,500 people since the bridge was damaged by flooding in December.

Mayor of Tadcaster Don MacKay said the service had been "absolutely essential" in keeping the town functioning.

A replacement footbridge is expected to open next week.

Since the bridge collapsed on 29 December the short journey across the river has been replaced with a 10 mile (16km) bus journey.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The replacement footbridge is expected to open next week

Mr MacKay said: "The collapse split everything in half. The doctors surgery is in the east, the banks are in the west. It's a mess.

"The bus is really the only link for people who do not have transport to get from east to west.

"We couldn't do without it. Things will get better when the footbridge opens, but it won't eliminate everything."

The service, which runs approximately every 30 minutes between 07:00 and 19:00, will be reviewed once the footbridge is open.

North Yorkshire County councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for highways, said: "We responded immediately to the bridge collapse by putting in place a free shuttle bus service between the east and west sides of the town."

The government agreed to provide £3m for the restoration of the main bridge and £300,000 to construct the temporary structure.

Work to rebuild the road bridge is expected to take up to 12 months to complete.

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