Valley Bridge, Scarborough – still raining metal

Valley Bridge, Scarborough – still raining metal

  • an update on the never-ending Valley Bridge negligence saga, by John Henderson

Some of our readers might remember our report on the issues of Valley Bridge, and the lack of repairs.

Recently, the Scarborough News published a story about a man in Scarborough who found quite a large piece of metalwork that had come from the bridge.

County Councillor Gareth Dadd, who is the Executive Member for Highways & Planning Services at North Yorkshire County Council, became famous for being more interested in his evening meal, than for the huge pieces of metal work falling from the bridge.

As can be seen in the article on the Scarborough News website, it appears that an anonymous North Yorkshire County Council spokesperson seems to be contradicting the young man in the article – essentially calling him a liar.

It’s quite wrong that our public servants behave in such a manner, but I am sure that they will have some clever words to explain why it is that they aren’t contradicting Mr Henderson (no relation), and they are simply conveying the “facts as they see them”.

Recently, however, it was brought to my attention that some “maintenance” work was being carried out on Valley Bridge, so I grabbed my camera and went to investigate. Much to my surprise I did indeed spot a gentleman, who was wearing a high visibility jacket, and was sweeping the balustrades along the lengths of the bridge.

For what seems like the first time in twenty years, the bridge has seen some maintenance – albeit just a little bit. But, as some might rightly argue, ‘some’ is better than ‘none’ (as we have had for twenty years). You might remember the images first brought to the public’s attention through the YouTube videos (One, Two, and Three) showing how badly muck and debris was building up on along the balustrades… So bad was the problem that plants were able to take hold in the ever deepening build-up.


Some of our readers might remember that when we first exposed the story, Scarborough Borough Council rapidly changed their tune (and their website) and renounced all responsibility for the maintenance of Valley Bridge, and passed the buck swiftly to North Yorkshire County Council – where still nothing was done.

What was most surprising to me was that the workman was wearing a Scarborough Borough Council jacket – indicating he was an employee of Scarborough Borough Council. Now, you might remember that SBC washed their hands of the bridge and the highway thereon when we first started to break the story of the neglect of such an important structure.


Yet here we had an employee of SBC going about his business and sweeping the balustrades. Sadly this gentleman declined to be photographed for this article, but he had spent the better part of the day sweeping up the dirt and scraping out the cracks and joins in the paving slabs.

It has to be said, that the bridge looks a lot better as a result.

Despite this though, we are told by the Scarborough News that NYCC are in the process of handing out a huge contract for work to repair the bridge. Yet we have still had no word from County Councillor Gareth Dadd, or any of the other Public Servants, whom we employ, as to why this structure spent twenty years being neglected.

Councillors are allowed to double-dip on their expenses, enjoy free lunches at County Hall, but we can’t even have our roads and structures repaired. Something is deeply wrong here…

The question is, NYCC - what are you going to do about it?

Despite asking for a clear answer about why the bridge has been neglected for twenty years, I have yet to receive a satisfactory response – even from the main man at NYCC, Mr John D. Smith…

How much longer will we be kept waiting?


3 Responses to "Valley Bridge, Scarborough – still raining metal"

  1. Frank Chalmers  April 15, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Aside from the shocking revelations – once again brought into the light – I do have to say, that the Real Whitby team have some very good imaging skills. I am always impressed at the graphics and photography on this site.

    Keep up the great work guys.

    But, the question is: When will we get an answer. I too have asked NYCC why the bridge is in bits, and the response I got was…

    You get the idea.

  2. Frank Chalmers  April 16, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Having had time to read the Scarborough News pages, and a bit of a think, it occurs to me that you may have overlooked something in your article.

    North Yorkshire say they had a team of people remove any loose bits from the bridge. In your article/videos, and in the Scarborough News article, there are lots of bits that have fallen off.

    Does that mean that the “team” that removed the bits are totally incompetent too? They can’t have “missed” them surely?

    Perhaps someone might want to ask NYCC.

    Just my two cents.

  3. Brian Dodds  April 16, 2013 at 8:53 am

    It goes on and on, to answer your question Frank, the team that removed the bits didn,t necessarily miss any, more have fallen off. I took a walk under there shortly after a team had been down a couple of months ago, I found a piece weighing in at nearly 1 kilo by the central pier next to the pond. If that had fallen on the road side and hit a car, or worse still, a pedestrian, then it would have been very serious, the bridge is at it,s highest there. It seems these people believe they can just carry on, enjoying the perks and ignoring any criticism from members of the public, as if they,re bomb proof, in a private company they would have been sacked a long time ago.


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whitby photography by glenn kilpatrick