In response to public feedback from last year’s trial closure of Whitby Swing Bridge we will be implementing further closures in 2022.

The closure to ensure pedestrian safety will begin on Easter weekend and be in place on all bank holiday weekends including the long weekend for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and all weekends in the school holidays between May and October.

The 2021 experimental closure began on 1 April 2021 ended on 31 October. Thank you to everyone who contacted us with their views. The consultation has now closed.

All comments were taken into account when the outcome of the trial was assessed on 21 January 2022. You can see a copy of a letter dated 7 February 2022 which has been sent to everyone who made a comment during the consultation.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Whitby Swing Bridge - Review of proposal to close the Swing Bridge to Road Traffic

Further to my letter dated 17 January 2022, I am writing to let you know the outcome of the meeting of the Business and Environmental Services Corporate Director and Executive Members, held on Friday 21 January 2022 at 2:00pm via a virtual meeting.  

A copy of the relevant Committee Report, Decision and Minutes can be found on the County Council web page using the following links;

(Public Pack) Agenda Document for Business and Environmental Services - Executive Members and Corporate Director Meetings, 21/01/2022 14:00

Decision - Consideration of whether to end, amend, continue or make permanent the experimental traffic restrictions for Whitby Swing Bridge and adjacent streets

The decision was;

i. Acknowledges the outcome of the public consultation to date on the Experimental Scheme;

ii. Approves the proposal to cease and revoke the experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO)

iii. Authorises officers to carry out further design work to identify appropriate alternate options and report back to a future meeting

iv. Notes that any closures of the swing bridge in 2022 would be managed by means of the local highways office’s powers to enact an emergency closure or planned closure on highway safety grounds

Reasons for the decision:

Whilst the experimental scheme has allowed road users to contact the local highways office with their views on the benefits and dis-benefits of closing the swing bridge to traffic, officers do not recommend that the scheme is made permanent in its current form.

If a future version of the scheme is to be taken forward, and if funding is made available to implement it, it would be beneficial to all road users if any future scheme did not rely so heavily on signing alone. A scheme involving a change to the streetscape or the re-routing of ‘through’ traffic so that it does not naturally approach the swing bridge or St Ann’s Staith or Church Street would appear to be more intuitive.

Whilst it is preferable to settle on regular times for road closures to provide consistency, there are occasions when highways does have to react to certain events or footfall. Good weather is probably the biggest factor apart from school holidays in predicting heavy footfall.

Officers anticipate that further data analysis and design work will be necessary, as well as further engagement with groups representing those with protected characteristics, before being able to recommend one or more potential solutions which would then be the subject of further consultation.

Officers propose that an appropriate further scheme is developed, with a further report brought to the Corporate Director BES prior to any future proposals to trial a new experimental scheme or to propose a permanent traffic regulation order (TRO) for this area.

The County Council intends to make a revocation order under S.1(i) (a) and (c) of and Part IV of Schedule 9 to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended), which will cease the experimental order that was made on 26 March 2021.  Following the making of the revocation order, a notice of making will be published in the local press to confirm when the experimental order will end.  A copy of the revocation order and notice of making will also be published on the County Council’s website and copies will be made available for viewing at a local library and at the County Council offices.

Arrangements for 2022

Officers from the local highways team at Whitby will discuss the arrangements for the 2022 season with Whitby town council, as closures of the swing bridge at busy times will continue to be necessary on highway safety grounds.

Future scheme

Any new permanent traffic regulation order (TRO) would require a period of public consultation before being implemented.  Any new experimental scheme would require a public consultation running alongside it.

I will write to you again should there be a future public consultation for this scheme.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Watson

Helen Watson CEng MICE

Improvement Manager

Dear Sir/Madam,

Trialling a traffic-free Whitby Swing Bridge

The current daily trial closure of Whitby Swing Bridge to improve safety for residents and visitors is to be modified to weekend-only from the start of October.

The trial was extended to daily closures mid-August with the intention for this to continue until the end of October to cover the busy tourist season. However, the County Council has made the decision to amend this after feedback from the ongoing consultation.

Vehicles will be prohibited between 10.30am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, but the recent exemption for buses and vehicles responding to an emergency call will continue.

We encourage you to write to us with any comments you may wish to make.  This letter has been sent to all previous respondents, 800+ properties closest to the swing bridge, as well as to key stakeholders such as emergency services, bus and taxi operators and local organisations that could be affected. 

This consultation is open to all, anyone who wishes to make a comment is encouraged to do so.

Comments may be made by going to the dedicated page on our website and clicking on ‘Take part in the survey’ on the webpage. 

You may also send your comments in writing via email to; Area3.whitby@northyorks.gov.uk

or by post to;

North Yorkshire County Council,

Whitby Highways Office,

Discovery Way,

Whitby

YO22 4PZ

All replies will be reported to a future meeting of the Director of Business and Environmental Services with Executive Members, so that a decision can be taken on the outcome of the experiment.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Watson

Improvement Manager

Dear Sir/Madam,

Trialling a traffic-free Whitby Swing Bridge

Following on from my letter to you dated 26 November 2020 concerning the above.

The experimental scheme started on 1 April 2021 and currently involves closing the swing bridge to all traffic and cycles, on weekends and bank holidays only, between 10:30am to 4:00pm.  A pedestrian zone has been introduced for Grape Lane, and the previous seasonal ‘access only’ restriction for the St Ann’s Staith / Pier Road / Haggersgate / Khyber Pass route has been extended to year round.

I am writing to let you know that it has been decided to vary the experiment, by changing to daily closures for the swing bridge.  This will start on 20 August 2021 and continue until 31 October 2021, when we will revert to weekend and bank holiday only closures.

Other changes that will also be introduced from Friday 20 August are: 

  • local service buses and vehicles on their way to an emergency will be allowed over the swing bridge.  All other traffic and cycles will remain prohibited.
  • we will be marking out two taxi bays in the Tin Ghaut turning area, to assist Hackney Carriages who would otherwise have to return to the rank on New Quay Road after each fare
  • we will be introducing a further restriction (‘no waiting at any time’ and ‘no loading 10:30am -4:00pm’) on Grape Lane, to run alongside the ‘pedestrian zone’ restrictions for Grape Lane, which have the same effect to prohibit waiting and loading, but make enforcement easier

We are doing this so that residents, businesses and visitors, along with the local highways office, can fully gauge the effects of the experiment.

We encourage you to write to us with any comments you may wish to make.  This letter is being sent to 800+ properties closest to the swing bridge, as well as to key stakeholders such as emergency services, bus and taxi operators and local organisations that could be affected.  There will be publicity encouraging anyone who wishes to make a comment to do so.

Comments may be made by going to the dedicated page on our website and clicking on ‘Take part in the survey’ on the webpage. 

You may also send your comments in writing via email to Area3.whitby@northyorks.gov.uk.

Or by post to

North Yorkshire County Council,

Whitby Highways Office,

Discovery Way,

Whitby

YO22 4PZ

All replies will be reported to a future meeting of the Director of Business and Environmental Services with Executive Members, so that a decision can be taken on the outcome of the experiment. It is expected that a decision will be taken between 1 December 2021 and 28 February 2022.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Watson

Improvement Manager