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Specialist equipment being drafted in for Kex Gill investigations in North Yorkshire

The A59 at Kex Gill
The A59 at Kex Gill

Specialist equipment is being deployed to investigate the cause of land movement that has led to the closure of a busy route in North Yorkshire.

Coring equipment, which is in high demand across the country for various projects, is due to arrive on site at the A59 at Kex Gill on Monday which will take samples of material to reveal conditions beneath the ground and help the local authority to understand what has happened and to decide on the best solution.

The investigation so far has been hampered by difficulty of ground conditions and the need to work around sophisticated utilities such as fibre optic cables.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “Unlike earlier closures, this one is not caused by instability in the slope above the highway. It appears to be caused by instability below the highway. It is a complex situation and we need to have a complete picture before finalising a way ahead.”

“We fully understand the disruption caused to local residents and businesses by this closure, but the safety of the travelling public is our primary concern, so it’s essential that the A59 remains closed at Kex Gill while these further investigations are carried out.

“Realigning this stretch of the A59 to provide a permanent solution is integral to our transport strategy for the county and work towards this is well under way.”

The A59 is an important trans-Pennine route between Skipton and Harrogate, but has a history of instability and movement of the land at Kex Gill and there have been numerous landslips. Realigning the road at this point to the other side of the valley is part of the County Council’s strategic transport plan to improve east to west connections.