WORK on a 'user-friendly' footbridge is due to be completed several months after discussions began.

The Low Green footbridge in Great Ayton, near Stokesley, has been a focal point for visitors and residents of the village for decades.

But after years of use, and a growing need to find a reliable replacement, the parish council is due to reopen the new bridge towards the end of this coming week.

The old footbridge, which was was not wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, was removed towards the end of January.

Installation of a newer, and wider bridge took place in mid-February.

Angela Taylor, chair of Great Ayton Parish Council, said she expected the new bridge to be completed by Sunday, March 3.

She said: "It needed replacing, it was just ageing.

"It had never been very wide – you could never get a push chair or wheelchair through, so the new one will be more user-friendly."

The replacement footbridge was funded by Hambleton District Council.

A popular feature of the footbridge was its white railings, which spanned the length of the bridge.

Ms Taylor said: "When we were informed that it would be replaced, the council informed us that they would keep the white railings.

"As it's nearly finished, everybody is really pleased that it looks as good as the old one did – a couple of people have said they didn't like the base of it, but I think people have been pleasantly surprised – you don't notice that it is slightly different."

The bridge will no longer require steps at one end, unlike the former structure, meaning wheelchairs will be able to cross the river with no additional support.