Millions of pounds is needed to restore a substandard bridge in York to a good condition, new figures show.

Figures from the RAC Foundation show one in 24 bridges in Britain are substandard. 

A substandard bridge is one that is either too weak to carry the minimum weight requirement of a 40-tonne vehicle, or there is a weight restriction for environmental reasons such as a narrow bridge or narrow approach roads.

Out of the 95 bridges in York, Bishopthorpe Bridge was the only one that was found to be substandard last year.

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The bridge is owned by Sustrans - a walking, wheeling and cycling charity, and the custodian of the National Cycle Network.

Jonathan Gardiner, estate director for Sustrans, said: "Sustrans owns this bridge which carries Appleton Road in Bishopthorpe, an adopted highway, over the York to Selby walking and cycling path (NCN 65).

"The bridge was re-built in the 1950s, from the original 1870s bridge, and it isn’t now strong enough to take the heaviest of vehicles.

"We are in ongoing discussions with the City of York Council, the highway authority, about what needs to be done to manage this bridge.

"We implement a maintenance regime that is comparable with the way in which local authorities manage their bridges. This involves annual routine inspections and six-yearly principal inspections.

"In light of the condition of this bridge we have increased the frequency of the principal inspections to every three years."

City of York Council estimated that it would cost £1.3 million to bring the bridge back to good condition, but that it does not foresee any bridges being restored in the next five years.

However, the RAC Foundation said there is only so long councils can continue to “patch things up before bigger cracks literally start to appear” in road infrastructure.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "The numbers illustrate how important it is for significant sums of money to be spent tackling at least the higher priority work.

"Whether it is potholes or bridges there is only so long that councils can continue to patch things up before bigger cracks literally start to appear in the road network."

The estimated one-time cost to clear the maintenance backlog on bridges across the nations was £5.9 billion.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: “The Government is providing more than £5 billion of investment over this Parliament to local authorities across England to support the maintenance of their local highway infrastructure, including the repair of bridges and the resurfacing of roads up and down the country.”