Skipton traffic travelling from Water Street to the High Street will be sent on a detour of the bypass while work is carried out on the town's Mill Bridge.

A new, campaigned-for puffin pedestrian crossing is due to be installed with contractors moving in to start work next Sunday, March 5, for a week.

Alternative methods of traffic management have been considered while work is ongoing, including the use of temporary traffic signals.

However, highways officers have decided the best way to avoid a snarl-up in traffic is a one-way system over Mill Bridge.

This means vehicles leaving the High Street will be able to pass over the bridge and onto Water Street and Raikes Road.

But vehicles coming the other way will be denied access to the town centre and instead will have to follow a signposted diversion.

This detour will be from the Water Street junction, forcing traffic to turn left onto Raikes Road and Grassington Road, then east along the A59 Skipton Bypass, right onto Knaresborough Road and The Bailey and down to the High Street roundabout.

While the works are in operation, a temporary 40mph speed limit will be in force at the A59/Knaresborough Road junction - an accident blackspot.

And to keep construction time to a minimum, the contractor will be working extended hours.

County Coun Peter Sowray said: "This new addition to Skipton's traffic network is a welcome one.There have been local concerns over the safety of this junction for some time.

"I'm sure that, although disruption cannot be avoided, pedestrians and road users will appreciate that any disruption and delays are to be expected and this important safety feature will be completed as swiftly and efficiently as possible."

Parents have been campaigning for a puffin crossing for years.

* A decision will be made next month whether Salisbury Street in Skipton will get speed cushions and tables.

Area traffic manager Bill Isherwood said when residents had been consulted there had been support. Yet when the plans were advertised as legally required the consensus was objection.

He said the matter would be taken to the Craven Area Committee on Thursday March 23.

It is believed there have never been any accidents on the road.