York is set to enter the year 2001 with its Millennium Bridge still closed to the public.

Chairman of the Millennium Bridge Trust Paul Chesmore told the Evening Press today the heavy flooding of the Ouse had "severely delayed" work on the £4.2m bridge.

Workers have been unable to get on site for a week, and do not expect to be able to return for another seven days.

Mr Chesmore said it would be impossible to gauge the delay until workers can return to the riverside and assess the damage.

"There are still two sections of bridge to go in," he said. "As well as hand rails, lighting and seats. The landscaping will also need to be done, although I imagine even when the waters subside the banks will be like sponges."

Mr Chesmore does not expect work to be fully completed until at least next year.The bridge was due to open to the public this month.