A COUNCILLOR has criticised a decision to close roads between Hawes and nearby stations.

North Yorkshire County Council highways is closing the A684 from Garsdale to Hawes, as well as minor roads leading to Kirkby Stephen to the north and Ribblesdale to the south .

Passengers getting off the train at Garsdale would face a seven-mile walk to get to Hawes, and around 17 miles from both Kirkby Stephen and Ribblesdale.

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Walter Head, administrator at the Hawes Community Office, which runs the Little White Bus, said the decision could leave dozens of people stranded if they arrived expecting to find a bus service.

He said: “We have tried to persuade the highways department to go ahead with the planned road closure, but just leave it open for the Little White Bus, but they won’t.”

The closure of the A684 from the Moorcock Inn at the junction of the B6259 at Hawes will be from 6am to 4pm on Saturday, July 5, with the north side of the road turned into an overflow car park.

Only traffic leaving Hawes will have access.

Upper Dales councillor John Blackie said: “I argued strongly that the road should be left open because people could have been picked up and dropped off at Hawes, and then returned at the end of the day.

“There is plenty of room for people but not enough for lots of cars. It’s short-sighted of the county council and they have missed a trick.

“People can’t even get a train into Kirkby Stephen or Ribblesdale because those roads are closed too.”

A spokesman for the county council said the decision on road closures had been well publicised.