WHITBY Swing Bridge is to be closed to vehicles for safety on weekends during the school summer holidays.

Concerns over safety as a result of congestion on the bridge during summer weekends and special events have grown in recent years as the number of people visiting the town increases.

Traffic on the bridge is controlled by traffic signals, but during busy times the large number of pedestrians crossing means people often spill into the road, leading to concerns for safety.

In the past couple of years, North Yorkshire County Council has closed the swing bridge to traffic during busy weekends on the advice of the local police to keep pedestrians safe.

A meeting was held between the County Council and other interested parties, including the Harbour Office, Scarborough Borough Council and Police, to discuss the issue.

Cllr Don Mackenzie said: “Whitby is getting busier, and more frequently we are being called on to shut the bridge for public safety.

“Taking the decision in advance to close the bridge at peak times that we know are likely to be busy gives certainty and consistency to visitors, regular users of the bridge and businesses in the area.” The closures will begin on Saturday, July 20 until September 1, between 10.30am and 6.30pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Monday in August.