A MOTORCYCLIST and a pillion passenger are "critically ill" after a crash in North Yorkshire.

It happened on the A61 near Melmerby, which is close to Ripon, at about 1.40pm on Saturday.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said that a Kawasaki motorcycle, travelling towards Ripon, was being ridden by a man in his 50s with a female passenger who is believed to be in her 40s.

"The motorcycle has had cause to swerve and has left the road, throwing pillion and rider," the spokesperson explained.

"It is understood at this time that no other vehicles were involved.

"The man and woman were taken to hospital, where they remain critically ill."

North Yorkshire Police is urging anyone who witnessed the collision, or saw the motorcycle in the moments before it happened, or has any dash-cam footage that could help the investigation, to get in touch. Call North Yorkshire Police on 101, and quote reference 12190166202 when sharing information.