A canal bridge near Gargrave is to be mended – a year after it was hit by a lorry.

The Grade Two listed Priest Holme Bridge, on a sharp bend on Marton Road, was originally damaged last year, but was then targeted by stone thieves.

In an effort to stop more of the stone being removed, British Waterways took a large section of it away to a secure compound.

Debbie Lumb, waterway manager for British Waterways North West, said it was an unfortunate accident that had been made worse by people taking more of the bridge away.

“It was disappointing that some people decided to remove some of the stone without permission following the accident,” she said.

“To combat this, we removed the stone and moved it to a secure British Waterways yard to avoid any further material being stolen, where it will be kept until the job is carried out.”

She said it was hoped repairs would be carried out immediately after other essential work to the canal network.

“While we recognise that the damage to Priest Holme Bridge is unacceptable, we are currently committed to carrying out essential maintenance work around the rest of the network, including lock gate replacements, vital repairs to our infrastructure and specialist safety improvements,” said Ms Lumb.

“The sheer scale of the network, combined with our limited resources, means we have to focus on key risks and priorities.

“As a result, the maintenance will be planned in following completion of our major work.”