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Muker businesses complain over summer roadworks
RURAL businesses relying on seasonal tourists visiting the upper Yorkshire Dales have criticised a local authority after it organised road works during the height of summer – with handwritten signs leaving motorists confused.
Alison Stringer, who with partner Nick Turner, runs Muker Village Store and Teashop in Swaledale, said that following a dip in business during previous works on July 19 she was dismayed to find another two days were planned last Wednesday and Thursday (August 7/8).
She was told by North Yorkshire County Council the road would not be closed.
“I was told access would be available with mobile teams letting people through – but within hours we had customers asking us why the road was being closed," she said.
“There was a hand-written sign stating the road would be closed for two days. There was no reference to access being allowed or to businesses being open as usual.
“There is only one road in and out of Muker so it is absolutely vital the road is open, and that signage is informative.”
North Yorkshire County Councillor John Blackie said he was promised the “appalling signage” would be replaced with proper signs stating that businesses are open as usual in Muker.
And Claire Swainston, clerk to Hudswell Parish Council, near Richmond, said residents were “neither impressed nor happy” after scheduled road works for July 31 to August 1 did not happen – but a diversion remained in place.
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire County Council said: “We recognise the importance of tourism to the local economy and understand the frustration that road closures can cause.
“However, surface dressing is essential to prolong the life of the carriageway and this can only be done during April to August. Weather conditions at other times are not suitable.
“We apologise that mistakes have been made and we are addressing these issues with our contractor.
“We are now making every effort to ensure that business as usual signs are placed at any road closures.”
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