Bad weather and a ‘technical issue’ has caused months of further delay to the re-opening of a toll bridge near York.

Aldwark Bridge, which crosses the Ouse between Aldwark and Little Ouseburn, near Boroughbridge, has been closed since April for ‘essential maintenance’ and was due to re-open in October.

In September, it was  reported the bridge would not re-open until December, but now it won’t re-open until the New Year.

Bridge owner Alex Bell told the Press: “The works are proceeding well and we hope to have the bridge completed in early 2024, updates will be posted on the website. Weather and a technical issue have caused a delay, however we are working with the contractor to get the bridge open as soon as possible.”


Mr Bell recently told the Press that some £750,000 had so far been spent on repairing the bridge, with more spending still to come before the repairs would be completed.

The bridge’s website says new timber decking has been installed, the steelwork has been cleaned and painting was to begin. There had been ‘technical issues’ in applying the paint but this had been resolved.

York Press: Google Street View

However, “difficult weather conditions” and “recent flooding” had caused problems.

Without an open toll bridge, villagers in the area face a 25-mile round trip.

One of them told the Press: “The community either side of the bridge continues to be deeply affected, with extended commutes made much harder by the inclement weather.

“To make matters worse, the company owning the bridge will offer no firm date for reopening - just saying ‘early 2024’ which is completely unacceptable. Us local residents remain stranded!”

Aldwark Toll Bridge was originally built in the 18th Century and is one of the few surviving privately-owned toll bridges in England and had suffered a “lack of investment” over the years.

After Mr Bell, a Derbyshire businessman, brought the bridge in 2020, he commissioned a structural survey, which found repairs were needed.

York Press: Google Street View

“The works include repairing the archways, painting the bridge and repairing or even replacing the entirety of the deck. The works are essential to prevent further decay which would result in the bridge having to close for a lengthy period,” the bridge company previously explained on its website.

Last year, the bridge company lost a bid to double the 40p toll to 80p for cars but this was rejected by traffic commissioners. Villagers had said this could cost some families up to £600 a year to take their children to school in preference to a 25-mile detour.

The bridge is also believed to be the only toll bridge in Yorkshire. The county also had the Selby toll bridge, but that was taken over by North Yorkshire County Council in 1991, who collected its last toll on September 19 that year.