WORK on the closed section of the A59 at Kex Gill will hopefully get underway before the end of March, says North Yorkshire Council.

Persistent rainfall and one of the 'wettest Februarys on record' has been blamed for the continued problems with the road, which went from a partial closure on January 25 to a full closure on February 2.

The council's assistant director for highways and transport, Barrie Mason, said: "We would like to thank people for their patience because of the ongoing closure of the A59 at Kex Gill.

"We understand the delay it is causing to journeys and would reiterate that we are doing all we can to complete the repair as quickly and safely as possible.

"February has been one of the wettest on record and this persistent rainfall has made the situation worse.

"We are monitoring the landslip daily and have unfortunately seen further movement since the start of the closure. This has resulted in additional investigations to ensure we have the most appropriate and effective repair scheme.

"Designs have now been completed, which will include sheet piling and backfilling, to address the existing slippage and prevent future movement of the road.

"Given the complexities of the work involved, we are working with our contractor on when it can start, which we hope to be before the end of the month.

"At the same time, we will also carry out any additional works which might be required in this area to minimise any further disruption once the road has re-opened.

"As we have said previously, the A59 at Kex Gill has a long history of landslips and this latest closure is a result of the weather over the past few months.

"Once again, we are sorry for the impact that this closure is having."

At the recent meeting of the area committee of North Yorkshire Council, it was said that the road was unlikely to re-open until after the Easter holiday.

Skipton MP Julian Smith has also met with the council's chief executive to receive an update on the closure and progress on the £68.9 million realignment, which is due to be completed towards the end of 2025.

Mr Smith said, "I know that residents and businesses are frustrated with yet another closure of the A59. That's why it's so important that the realignment project is completed as quickly as possible.

"This latest closure continues to have a real impact on my constituents, and I will continue to liaise with the council to ensure that their concerns are factored into the decision-making process.

"The damage to the road is extensive, however, and I understand and support North Yorkshire Council's decision to prioritise the safety of both those working on the repair and future road users."