Drivers entering Melsonby have often been curious about the sign on the roads from the A66 and A1 which rather than banning them, appear to allow abnormally tall vehicles to enter the village. This has been the situation for the past 40 years, since the construction of the A1(M), when some bad planning allowed Kneeton Bridge, providing access to the quarry to be constructed too low to allow large vehicles to pass underneath. The official solution to the problem was to divert Northbound abnormal loads at Scotch Corner along the A66 and through Melsonby village. This is now only an occasional problem, but in the early years there was regular movement of vast units for the growing North Sea oil industry.
All cars along Moor Road and East Road had to be moved and for many years one of the street lamps was misaligned to allow the vehicles to pass. The listed wall on East Road was regularly nudged and sometimes displaced. Speeding through the village by other vehicles was always an issue, but no calming features could be installed as they would hinder the through flow even more.
Promises were made that the bridge would be rebuilt when the A1 was upgraded and after several years of will it / wont it, this has now happened! A new bridge has been built and the old bridge finally removed. All Melsonby needs now is for the waiver signs to removed and lorry ban notices and calming measures to be installed. Peace will reign in 2016!
The stump of the old Kneeton Bridge to the left and right foreground and the new bridge to the south.
Judith Stansfield 28/12/15