The footpath connecting St James Green with Marage Road in Thirsk has reopened following temporary repairs.

The public right of way was closed back in May after reports of cracks and movement of the pavement.

An underwater survey together with detailed inspections have been carried out following the removal of vegetation along the route. This has revealed that the retaining wall has been severely affected by river erosion, damaging and reducing the structural integrity of the footpath leading to the iron footbridge.

The Countryside Access Service established a temporary solution which involved excavating the path around the bridge and picnic area, backfilling with concrete and levelling it up with tarmac. Large cracks further along the path have been filled with concrete and patched. 

County Councillor Gareth Dadd, local member for Thirsk, said: “I’m delighted that this footpath has reopened in time for Christmas as it’s a busy route with people walking to and from the town centre for shopping, as well as with locals doing their daily exercise.

"We appreciate the inconvenience of the closure, however, public safety is our number one priority. We are also aware how valued this route is to the local community and as such are exploring options for the most cost-effective long-term solution. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep the route open whilst it is safe to do so and until permanent repairs can take place.”

Local resident Kath Raynard highlights the importance of repairing the well-used path. She uses this route for regular walks and takes her grandchildren that way to feed the ducks.

She said: “I’m really pleased to see the route reopen and looking ahead it’s important that the permanent repairs are carried out to protect it for future generations. The path is used by hundreds of people each day in summer and is an important landmark for the town’s history. 

“There’s a walking group of 15 to 20 members – many of whom are elderly – who choose this route and it’s popular with tourists who are looking for a short, scenic walk. I’m sure many people will join me in welcoming its reopening.”