A MOTORCYCLIST has died in a crash with a van on a North Yorkshire road.

The van driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after the collision, which happened at 6.30pm last night in Kirkby Road, two miles from Ripon towards Kirkby Malzard.

North Yorkshire Police said the 20-year-old male driver of the white Ford Transit van has since been released under investigation.

A spokesperson said the 56-year old motorcyclist, from Ripon, who was riding a blue Suzuki GSXR 1000 motorbike, died at the scene due to injuries suffered in the collision.

They said the road was closed for eight hours to allow the Collision Investigation Unit to attend the scene and carry out a full investigation, and it finally reopened at 3am today.

"Police are appealing for anyone who saw the collision, or either vehicle prior to it, to contact them," they said. "They would particularly like to speak to anyone who may have captured dash cam footage.

"Please dial 101, select option 2 and ask to speak to the Major Collision Investigation Team. You can also email MCIT@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk. Please quote reference number 12190175718."

The crash is the latest in a spate of serious accidents involving motorcyclists on North and East Yorkshire's roads over the past couple of months.

In August, three motorcyclists, including a York man and a 16-year-old from near Full Sutton, were killed on the A166 east of York, and another biker, from York, died in a crash with a tractor near Whitby.

A motorcyclist was also airlifted to hospital suffering from fractures after a crash on the B1257 north of Helmsley and another survived uninjured after a crash on the A64 near Malton, in August.

Earlier this month, a motorcyclist who had suffered serious injuries in a crash on the A1034 near Market Weighton and Sancton later died in hospital.

A motorcyclist and a pillion passenger were also said to be "critically ill" after a crash on the A61 near Melmerby, Ripon, earlier this month.