Major resurfacing work on a stretch of road through a North Yorkshire town will be postponed after residents complained the disruption would affect business trade during its busy tourist season.

North Yorkshire County Council held a public meeting last week to discuss plans for full resurfacing of the A684 between Leeming Bar to Junction 37 on the M6, inviting designers, contractors, and members of the community to attend.

As a result of several people complaining the roadworks would occur at the start of the peak tourist season, impacting their business, the local authority decided to push the project back till autumn.

Highways Area manager Jayne Charlton said: “We hope the community can appreciate that there is no ideal time to carry out such extensive works. We have been able to extend the funding until the end of 2022, but we must balance public opinion with the risks that carrying out this type of work in the winter may bring.”

She went on to say that resurfacing roads during the winter can be “very problematic”, and as the work is urgent, the council wants to “avoid any unforeseen delays”.

The project will see the A684, which is currently in a poor condition, fully resurfaced, which will improve safety for all users.

Ms Charlton estimated the new start date for the job will be late September, avoiding major sheep sales at auction.

Despite the consideration of the local authority, some members of the public believe this is still an inconvenient time to commence work on the road.

Hawes B&B owner Fiona Gardham told Examiner Live this would still affect late-season bookings and the auction mart will still be busy at this time of the year.

“Last October we were full, and I have already got bookings in for October,” Ms Gardham stated, suggesting instead: “What the vast majority of businesses said at the meeting was that they wanted the work doing from Monday to Friday between November and February, when 90 per cent of our trade is at weekends.”

North Yorkshire County Council has been given £7.06 million for these improvements, as part of the Department for Transport’s Safer Roads Fund, which aims to repair the 50 most dangerous A-roads in the UK.

It was one of only four bids that were successful to receive finance from the Safer Roads Fund. Some of the money has already gone to installing a new flood detection system, which is the first one in Yorkshire. This has been fitted at flooding hotspots along the road.

Safety improvements have also been put in place at the crossroad junction to the west of Patrick Brompton, while changes to the layout and resurfacing work has been implemented in Leyburn, and new lay-bys have been built along the A684.

In addition to this, the local authority has been busy improving four junctions in Scarborough, as part of a £4 million scheme to ease congestion and make roads safer for drivers and pedestrians. The initiative is due to finish by the end of April, following resurfacing of the roads between March 28th and 30th.


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