THE A59 between Skipton and Harrogate is to remain closed over the weekend following signs of movement at Kex Gill.

North Yorkshire County Council says further investigations are to take place after the road was closed on Wednesday following signs of movement.

Initial investigations by specialist consultants and county council engineers have shown that the road needs to remain closed for safety reasons over the weekend.

Further investigations will be carried out on site next week to determine the necessary course of action.

Diversions are in place for traffic, and council ambassadors will be in place to help direct motorists.

A council spokesman said: "During the closure, the diversion route for traffic going east from Skipton or west from Harrogate follows the A65, A660, A658 and A61 via Ilkley and Otley.

"The local road network near to the closure is restricted to use by local residents and for deliveries or access to businesses. Ambassadors will be in place to direct commercial vehicles and through traffic away from these local routes."

The spokesman added that the council apologised for the inconvenience, and would do all it could to complete any required work as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, drivers are being urged to use the signposted diversion routes.

"There have been reports of people using local roads that are simply are not wide enough to accommodate the volume of traffic from the A59."

Implementing a permanent solution to issues on the A59 at Kex Gill is integral to the county council’s transport plans.

It is an important trans-Pennine route between Skipton and Harrogate, but has a history of instability and movement of the land above the road to the west of Blubberhouses at Kex Gill. There have been numerous landslips, the most recent in January 2016 leading to closure of the road for eight weeks.

Realigning the A59 at Kex Gill to the other side of the valley is part of the county council’s strategic transport plan to improve east to west connections between the east coast and Humber ports and Lancashire.

A public consultation on proposals for this realignment was held last autumn. Feedback from that consultation has been analysed and proposals for a preferred realignment of the road will go before executive councillors shortly. After that, a business plan will be drawn up to enable the county council to bid for government funding with the hope that work could start on site in 2019/20.