A BRIDGE in a York village is set to be strengthened and reopened for heavy goods vehicles.

A £300,000 programme of works which will allow vehicles of 18 tonnes or more over Appleton Road in Bishopthorpe is recommended for approval at a City of York Council Executive meeting on Tuesday, March 12.

As reported by The Press in October when a temporary 18 tonne weight limit was applied, concerns were raised about diversionary routes taken by the large commercial vehicles through neighbouring York and Selby district villages.


The area is bordered by the River Ouse but the Appleton Road bridge passes over the old York – Selby railway line, a popular active travel route for cyclists and walkers.

In the Transport Executive decision session meeting, Councillor Pete Kilbane will be asked to approve a recommendation in a report based on ‘the long-term options for the bridge in response to concerns received from haulage companies and the residents in the area.’

York Press: The bridge passes over the old York - Selby railway line now used as an active travel routeThe bridge passes over the old York - Selby railway line now used as an active travel route (Image: Kevin Glenton)

The council papers said an initial meeting with Bishopthorpe and Copmanthorpe ward councillors had taken place.

Bishopthorpe ward councillor Michael Nicholls said: "The decision to repair the bridge is welcome. 

"No one likes the idea of a potentially dangerous bridge on their doorstep.

"When the repairs are complete hopefully the lorries can return to the considerate times, they come through Bishopthorpe and avoid the beginning and end of the school day."

Copmanthorpe ward councillor Chris Steward said: "I am pleased to see a report come to a decision session, which hopefully means we can see the Appleton Road bridge repaired and heavy vehicles no longer going through Copmanthorpe.

“I am disappointed that the timeframe remains unclear and that there do not look to be short-term mitigation measures, such as reopening one lane of the bridge.

“In the medium term it remains unacceptable to me that businesses with multiple such large lorries going in and out several times a day have located at and around Acaster airfield which they can only access through a village, whether Copmanthorpe, Bishopthorpe or Appleton Roebuck.

“The right place for such hauliers is near the likes of motorways, rather than the location they have chosen because rents are lower.’

Peter Taylor, co-owner of Brockett Industrial Estate near the Acaster Malbis airfield, said his tenants who use HGVs are trying to minimise any problems in passing through Copmanthorpe and Appleton during school runs.

Peter said: “Our yard has had lorries working out of it since the RAF let it in 1959 and has operated since the 1960s as a base for several local firms.

“We all want the Bishopthorpe route returning, to be the best access for use.

“What we don’t want is our voice not heard in discussions.”

One of the tenants inside Mr Taylor’s premises, Celkom Transport, was visited by York Outer MP Julian Sturdy to hear assessments and reports of the journeys its drivers have to make through Copmanthorpe.

Mr Sturdy said: "I am relieved that council officers have opted to recommend the re-strengthening of Appleton Road Bridge.

"Too often, decisions are made on a temporary basis and then become the status quo. 

"It is clear the current diversions are far from ideal and negatively impacting residents in Copmanthorpe as well as villages outside my constituency. 

"The focus now must be to ensure the eighteen month temporary weight limit is unnecessary by completing the work as quickly as possible."

The council papers say the cost of the strengthening work is nearly 39 per cent of the department’s budget for bridge strengthening across the city of York for the period 2024-25 but that more funding from a five-year budget of £3.2 million could be found.