Crucial bridge linking Harrogate ringway now rebuilt

L-R: North Yorkshire County Council Public Rights of Way Officer, Mike Gurney, with Keith Wilkinson of Bilton Conservation Group at the new bridge over Bilton Beck

L-R: North Yorkshire County Council Public Rights of Way Officer, Mike Gurney, with Keith Wilkinson of Bilton Conservation Group at the new bridge over Bilton Beck

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One of Harrogate's most popular walking trails has now re-opened to the public after a crucial linking bridge was washed away by floods last year.

Volunteers have worked together with local councils to replace Bilton Beck Bridge, which was torn down by a fallen tree during floods in November.

The bridge forms part of the Harrogate Ringway, a 20-mile walk that circles Harrogate, and the path through Bilton Woods is well used because of its links to the Nidderdale Greenway bridleway.

The original wooden bridge was put in place by members of Bilton Conservation Group and had stood for almost 30 years.

The new £12,250 bridge has been co-funded by Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) and North Yorkshire County Council with £10,500 from HBC's local development fund.

The new six metre structure has been designed by the County Council bridges team and is made of hardwood timber with a non-slip decking.

Councillor Don Mackenzie, NYCC Executive Member for Highways, said: “The County Council was very pleased to add Bilton Beck Bridge to its maintenance and repair programme and thanks Harrogate Borough Council for its financial contribution.

"Last year's flooding damaged many of our bridges. Most we have repaired already while others, like Tadcaster Bridge, are still being worked on.

"The reinstatement of Bilton Beck Bridge ensures that walkers can once again enjoy the Harrogate Ringway to the full. Our thanks go, too, to Keith Wilkinson of Bilton Conservation Group for all his efforts to ensure this work could be carried out.”