LONG-awaited repairs to a Richmond bridge which was damaged when a tractor leading a trailer full of straw bales overturned last summer will start this month.

Repairs to Mercury Bridge in Station Road, Richmond, are expected to begin on Monday, 20 February, after the parapet was damaged in the collision, which saw dozens of straw bales thrown through the parapet into the River Swale below.

The work is expected to take six weeks. During the work, the existing single lane traffic managed by traffic lights will remain in operation. Pedestrian access will be maintained through the works.

Rebuilding the damaged parapet wall will be done using new stone and the existing stone that can be reused.

The impact of the works on the operation of the highway will be kept to a minimum, but if the road and footpath need to be closed for the safety of the public and the workforce, notices and a signed diversion route will be in place.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for Highways, said: “The nature of the works means there will be short delays for traffic, so we request drivers’ patience and assistance in complying with any traffic management.

"We apologise for any disruption caused by these essential works and ask people to take extra care while within the works area.”

The accident happened in July 2016 when a Massey Ferguson tractor pulling a trailer full of straw bales crashed into the left-hand side of the bridge while on its way out of Richmond towards the Station.

Since the damage, temporary traffic lights have been controlling traffic, causing increased delays through the town especially at peak times, and when there has been a closure of the A1 as park of the ongoing upgrade.