MULTI-MILLION pound repair work has been approved for an iconic Yorkshire Dales railway bridge.

Listed building consent has been given to Network Rail to carry out £2.1m repairs to Batty Moss Railway Viaduct, better known as Ribblehead.

Network Rail proposed a plan in April to re-point eroded mortar joints and replace broken stones on the 400-metre-long, 32-metre-high Grade II-listed structure.

It has taken months of painstaking work to refine the plans, including laboratory analysis of ten samples of mortar from the viaduct to ensure that the mix used in the repair will be as close to the original as possible.

Scaffolding is currently being erected and the works will take place until the end of February.

The Northern Echo:

Jim Munday, of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said: “We’re so pleased Network Rail is investing significantly in Ribblehead Viaduct and carrying out the first major repairs since the 1990s.

"This was a massive application for listed building consent to deal with and I’m thankful that we’ve been able to draw on internal and external expertise to get it just right.”

Phil James, North West route director at Network Rail, said: “It’s a privilege to look after so many significant buildings and structures across the rail network, but Ribblehead Viaduct has got to be one of the crown jewels of Victorian civil engineering.

“We know the structure is incredibly important both locally and internationally, and we want to give it the care and attention that it deserves so it can be enjoyed by future generations of passengers and sightseers.”