A BRIDGE has been closed after a driver crashed into its structure, dislodging a nine-metre length of parapet and stone wall.

Police said a woman driver of a Suzuki Vitara was arrested and a breath test had proved positive.

The North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said a file would be submitted on the incident in due course.

Some of the stonework at Hampsthwaite Bridge, which crosses the River Nidd, near Harrogate, will have to be recovered from the bed of the river.

The accident on the single-lane bridge happened shortly before midnight on Monday.

Police requested closure of the bridge because of its potential danger to other drivers, and it has remained closed since.

It is the second time this year that the bridge has been closed to traffic following an accident.

The bridge was closed for several months after a lorry crashed into the wall, causing damage running into thousands of pounds.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said it was aiming to reopen the bridge before Christmas, once measures had been taken to erect temporary barriers.

Traffic is being diverted through Birswith and Ripley.

One estimate of the cost of the damage has been put at £5,000.