COUNCIL engineers are starting work to drain a dangerous slope above the A59, but the road is expected to stay closed until the end of February.

The road was closed at Kex Gill, between Skipton and Harrogate, on Tuesday, January 5 over landslip fears.

North Yorkshire County Council’s contractors plan to begin work tomorrow, Monday, on a temporary plan to drain the area.

The work is expected to take up to six weeks and the road cannot reopen until it is finished and a remote monitoring system is in place. It could be further delayed by bad weather, county council representatives said.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, added: “We fully understand the inconvenience caused by this closure, but the safety of road users has to be paramount.

"Our contractor is fully aware of the urgency of the work and we are confident they will progress it as quickly as possible, given the terrain and risks at the site. They will work seven days a week during daylight hours. Unfortunately, the site is not suitable for night working."

Redirecting the A59 key trans-Pennine route away from the unsuitable steep slope of Kex Gill is a priority in the council's new transport plans, he added.

Progress reports on the work will be posted on the county council’s website at