Commuters continue to face traffic chaos on a major route after North Yorkshire County Council announced the A59 at Kex Gill would remain closed today (January 6) for safety reasons.
The A59 at Kex Gill was closed on January 5 after recent heavy rains caused substantial cracks on the slope and the county council has continued to constantly monitor and measure the hillside.
Today, a geotechnical engineer has carried out a detailed inspection of the ground and announced that the road will remain closed until the results of the survey have been carefully examined.
Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways, said: “We know that closure of this road causes significant inconvenience to road users with lengthy diversions, but safety on the highway must be our greatest priority. We constantly monitor this area and in the past have undertaken major works to stabilise this slope. Our specialist engineers have been examining the ground today and we must wait for the outcome of that survey before we can decide on next steps.”
The road has in the past been affected by landslips in bad weather as it runs across high ground between higher moorland between Skipton and Harrogate.
In 2011, the county council undertook work to strengthen the banks and resurface part of the road during a five-week road closure.
And in 2014 the road underwent six weeks of work, totalling £200,000, to protect it from landslips, following two years of “unprecedented” rainfall.
County council highways officers have put a diversion route in place which is signposted between Skipton and Harrogate.
Ripon and Skipton MP Julian Smith said: “‘I was concerned to see that the A59 at Kex Gill between Harrogate and Skipton has been closed due to significant movement of the bank above the road.
“North Yorkshire County Council moved very quickly and closed the road after significant movement in the bank.
“Drivers should be aware that the closure has led to a significant diversion. I will continue to monitor the situation on the A59 and support North Yorkshire County Council.
“I understand that the closure may prove to be a considerable inconvenience to many people, however, ensuring the safety of all road users is a matter of absolute priority and I support the council in their decision.”
For more information visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/roadworks and search the interactive map for Kex Gill.