Residents have expressed fears that one of “Yorkshire’s most iconic views” could be ruined by a giant metal fence.
Network Rail has submitted plans to erect a safety fence to protect employees carrying out work on the Knaresborough Viaduct.
But people in the town claim the alterations to the Grade II-listed structure could obstruct the view.
John Richards, chairman of Knaresborough Civic Society, said: “This is one of Yorkshire’s most iconic views and this change will alter it for the worse. It could potentially harm Knaresborough’s tourist appeal.
“The proposed development will add steel posts to the viaduct and a wire fence. These materials and the plans shown are not in keeping with the character of the structure and would cause a significant visual detriment.
“The civic society wants to ensure workers on the viaduct are safe, but notes that the report included with the application does not say that any specific risk has been identified in Knaresborough.”
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “As part of our ongoing bid to improve the safety and working conditions for our employees we have identified that the height of the parapets at the viaduct need raising slightly to give a better level of protection.
“We recognise the significance and history of the viaduct and intend to keep the visual impact of any additions to it to a minimum.”