North Yorkshire County Council has said it will close the A59 at Kex Gill this evening (5 January 2016) for safety reasons.
Following the recent heavy rains there has been significant movement in the hillside, resulting in substantial cracks on the slope.
The authority is closing the road as a precaution until a more detailed inspection of the ground can be carried out.
This stretch of road runs across very high ground between even higher moorland between Skipton and Harrogate and has in the past been affected by landslips in bad weather. In 2011 the county council undertook to strengthen the banks and resurface part of the road during a five week road closure.
Two years ago the council undertook some additional drainage measures on the slope in a bid to improve stability and has continued to keep a close watch of the area.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways said:
We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause to road users; however, safety on the highway must be our greatest priority. We constantly monitor this area and in the past have undertaken major works to stabilise this slope. It now needs urgent and detailed investigation by our expert engineers.
As part of our strategic transport plan we have put forward proposals for a major realignment at Kex Gill in order to create an A59 route on the other side of the slope.
County council highways officers have put a diversion route in place this evening which has been signposted between Skipton and Harrogate.