THE temporary five week closure of the A59 at Kex Gill is due to come to an end on Friday (November 10) - bringing much relief to motorists using the busy Skipton to Harrogate route.

The road has been closed since Monday, October 9 in order for North Yorkshire Council to undertake resurfacing, maintenance and repairs, costing £550,000, with motorists diverted through Otley.

Work, between Pace Gate, on the Skipton side, and Church Hill, Blubberhouses, has included stabilising to the slope of the existing road as well as drainage repairs, gully-clearing, refreshing lining, replacing cat’s eyes and maintenance of the ground monitoring equipment. It is being funded by an extra £6.5m awarded to the council in this year’s Spring Budget.

The council has said the work is necessary to prolong the life of the road over the next two years ahead of the opening of the realigned A59 in 2025.

Cllr Duncan Keane, North Yorkshire Council's executive member for highways and transport said in September: “Kex Gill has a history of landslips, and the route has had to be closed a total of 12 times in the past 22 years. We must stabilise the slope near the existing road to avoid any lengthy closures over the next two years whilst the new road is constructed.

“Although there is never a good time to carry out such works, they need to be completed before the inclement winter weather hits.

“We have also timed the other essential works during the five-week period to avoid further closures and have been liaising with neighbouring authorities to ensure an appropriate diversion route has been set up and agreed.”

The re-aligned route, which is costing £68.8m will leave the A59 at North Moor Road and re-join the existing road at Blubberhouses. It is due to be completed by autumn 2025.