HISTORIC Broughton Bridge near Skipton is open again after several months following repairs and strengthening work that have cost more than £900,000.

Work on the more than 200 year old bridge, the main access to Broughton Hall off the A59, began in March and cost £901, 810 - almost £150,000 under the original budget.

Described as one of the most extensive bridge repairs carried out by North Yorkshire County Council in recent years, the structure has been closed to both vehicles and pedestrians throughout the work.

The council's bridges team and contractors Thomas Armstrong Construction have dismantled and rebuilt walls, and strengthened the stricture to ensure it can continue to be used for generations to come.

Councillor Patrick Mulligan, who represents the Airedale division on the county council, said: “Our teams have been on site since March carrying out one of the most extensive bridge repair schemes we have delivered in the county in recent years.

“The essential work has included the dismantling and rebuilding of the retaining walls, which are between six to nine metres high in places, and 70 metres wide. The buttresses and parapets were also rebuilt – all using the existing stone – and the steel braces inserted into the bridge have been removed and reinforced.

“The road has been closed to all vehicles and pedestrians for the duration of the work so we would like to thank the public for their patience. It has been completed to a very high standard to ensure the bridge will be fit for future traffic demands.”

Broughton Bridge is a key access route for those travelling to Broughton Hall Estate.

The current custodian Roger Tempest said: “On behalf of the local community we would like to show our gratitude and thanks for the rebuilding of Broughton Bridge. It was originally arranged to be built by the Tempest family in 1791 and with the restoration we hope it will last another 200 years and beyond.

“The county council bridges team deserve full praise for leading the project to a successful conclusion and we thank the contractors for their role in the build. Our community can now benefit from its use and enjoy the historic and unique surroundings.”