Love birds postpone Yorkshire bridge inspection

Engineers have postponed routine maintenance work on the Ouse Bridge to accommodate a pair of nesting peregrines.

Inspections are carried out on the bridge every two years but on discovering the pair of protected birds Highways England called in experts.

The nesting periods for birds vary from species to species and RSPB were able to offer the necessary advice about the peregrine pair.

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The latest inspection was due to be carried out in October however engineers have waited until the peregrine chicks have left the nest before carrying out their regular bridge checks.

Highways England service delivery team leader for Yorkshire and Humber, Mark Ramsden, said: “We have worked with the RSPB to make sure we do everything we can to not upset the chicks and their parents. We have now been able to schedule our work outside of fledgling period and hope that the pair will produce chicks for many years to come.

“During peak times up to 23,000 drivers use the bridge each day and this is just part of the activity that goes on behind the scenes on this major Yorkshire landmark.”

To carry out the inspections engineers need to be within touching distance of the bridge. They use a specialist underbridge unit which parks on the hard shoulder of the bridge and deploys a hanging walkway under the bridge and lowers workers beneath the structure.

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Diving inspections are also carried out to assess the underwater condition of the bridge structure.

Ouse Bridge in York was opened in 1976 and was the last section of the main part of the M62 which stretches east to west from Liverpool to Hull.