Linton and Collingham bridge to remain shut for months following flood devastation

The Duke of York talks to Andrew Wood, Senior Engineer with North Yorkshire County Council,  as they look at the damaged bridge over the River Wharfe in Tadcaster, during his visit to the area to view flood damage. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
The Duke of York talks to Andrew Wood, Senior Engineer with North Yorkshire County Council, as they look at the damaged bridge over the River Wharfe in Tadcaster, during his visit to the area to view flood damage. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
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People living in two North Leeds villages face months of chaos after the council revealed that the bridge linking them will not open for several months following being damaged in the floods.

The bridge between Linton and Collingham was closed on December 27 after the floods on Boxing Day, after concerns were raised that the foundations may have been damaged.

While engineers have been assessing the bridge, their work has been hampered by the continuing high water levels of the River Wharfe.

Leeds City Council said yesterday the bridge is likely to remain closed for several months.

Janet Bilton, landlady of The Windmill in Collingham, said: “The closure has affected me quite badly. It’s a nine mile round trip now for our customers coming from Collingham, who’s going to drive that?”

Julian Holmes, chairman of Collingham with Linton Parish Council, said: “The pubs are going to suffer from lack of people crossing and the school buses have had to change routes. It’s an inconvenience for hundreds of people but it could have been a lot worse.”

The council said they have introduced a shuttle bus service taking passengers from Linton to Wetherby, and are exploring the possibility of installing a temporary footbridge.

Meanwhile, Welcome to Yorkshire asked social media users to use the hashtag #YorkshireWelcome on Twitter to show the world that the region is still open for business.

Sir Gary Verity said: ““People across the county have already shown fantastic community spirit and come together to help those who had been hit the hardest. Now we can all play our part to help prevent a flooding double-whammy.

“We are calling on everyone to make a special effort to visit Yorkshire businesses; perhaps visiting your local high street, having a night away in a B&B or taking a trip to one of our county’s great attractions.

“By doing this, and sharing the news that Yorkshire businesses are open and that a warm Yorkshire welcome awaits, individuals can help visitor numbers to return to normal.

Prince Andrew viewed the collapsed bridge at Tadcaster yesterday, and said he had encountered “shock and devastation” from people in sodden communities across Yorkshire.

And a four-strong delegation of volunteers from Israel, who flew in to help with the flood efforts, said they were “proud to play their part” in the recovery efforts.

Voni Glick, Mickey Noam-Alon, Yuval Statman and Gilad Levi are part of IsraAid, a group which supports disaster relief across the world.

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