Permanent repairs under way on unsafe Thirsk footpath

This story was published 29 July 2022

A major repair project is under way on a popular footpath in Thirsk which acts as a key link to the town centre.

A group of five people in front of a fence.

The footpath connecting St James Green with Marage Road was closed in May 2021 after reports of cracks and movement of the pavement rendered it close to collapsing into the river.

We have since carried out a series of inspections and it was reopened over Christmas following temporary repairs.

Whitby-based company Wilf Noble are now on site, with work expected to be complete by early autumn. The estimated cost for the project is around £200,000.

Executive member for highways and transportation, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “An underwater survey together with detailed inspections revealed that the retaining wall has been severely affected by river erosion, damaging and reducing the structural integrity of the footpath leading to the iron footbridge. Overall, this has proved a major project but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

County Councillor Gareth Dadd, local member for Thirsk, said: “We realise the lengthy closure of this well-used footpath and footbridge has been a great inconvenience to locals and visitors but we have been working as quickly as possible to assess the scale of damage and establish the most cost-effective and long-term solution.

“I’m really pleased to see the repairs starting on the path, which are sure to future-proof the route for generations.”

Local resident Kate Mountford uses the route to take her children to school and travel to work. She said: “We often see many parents doing the same, various dog walkers and even tourists having a walk this way by the river. It’s a lovely walk in every season as there is always something new to see.

“I will be pleased when the repair works are done and this walk is open again as it would save time on my journeys.”

Angus Nicholson, director of Wilf Noble, said the company is “excited to be involved in this important scheme to help safeguard the footpath for years to come”.