PEOPLE living close to Kirkby Malham Bridge are breathing a sigh of relief following the completion of £350,000 widening work.

Improvements by North Yorkshire County Council have made it possible for two wide vehicles to cross at the same time, making the road safer for drivers approaching the bridge with possible poor visibility.

As the only access for vehicles delivering feed to farms in the village, the widening means deliveries can be made without damaging the bridge or other property. A temporary bridge was put in place while the work took place.

Linda Hodson, who lives nearby, said: “The realignment of the junction has improved both access and safety for large vehicles, which has brought a greater peace of mind to those living near the junction.

“Before, it was difficult for large vehicles to turn left out of Greengate to cross the bridge. On at least two occasions our drystone garden wall was damaged, with costly repairs being necessary. The bridge parapet has also been caught, causing damage to both the stonework and the vehicles.”

Councillor Don Mackenzie, the council’s Executive member for access, said works were completed for less than £350,000 - well below the budget of £500,000.

“This work makes the bridge safer for road users, particularly those in wide vehicles, and eases worries for people living nearby,” he said.