DRIVERS who ignore road closure signs on the flood-hit bridge between Linton on Ouse and Newton on Ouse may be prosecuted, they have been warned.

The road is no longer under water, but high water levels have not yet enabled engineers to inspect under the bridge, which has been closed since Boxing Day.

Cllr Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire County Council's executive member for highways, said he recognised the closure had caused long diversions and inconvenience, but said: "We need to be able to inspect underneath the bridge arches.

"Until then, it is very important that road users do not ignore our road closed signs and certainly not remove them, which has been happening in recent days."

Fencing is being put up to keep the road closed and water levels will need to drop six feet below the bridge for a full inspection.

The council is liaising with North Yorkshire Police and will consider taking action against anyone removing signs or ignoring the warnings.