Funding search for Masham brown signs

Traders say the loss of signs to Masham has hit business hard since work started on the A1 upgrade.
Traders say the loss of signs to Masham has hit business hard since work started on the A1 upgrade.

The fight goes on for motorway brown signs to Masham as campaigners look for a way to fund the scheme.

The town’s business owners have met MP Julian Smith and Highways Agency officials to discuss the cost of brown signs to Masham from the upgraded A1(M).

The Masham on the Map campaign led by councillor Flo Grainger and the MP celebrated a victory when the Department for Transport agreed to allow tourist signs to the town from the motorway.

But as the decision came outside normal regulations no funding was available, creating another obstacle in the fight to keep Masham accessible to tourists.

Brown signs could cost between £15,000 and £150,000, highways officials revealed at a meeting in Masham Town Hall on Wednesday, February 15.

Now a task force has been set up to look at different options – including brown tourist signs and cheaper directional signs from the motorway.

Mr Smith said: “It was a positive meeting and I am grateful to everybody there. There is some frustration that discussions are still going on with the Highways Agency, but I am confident we can work with them to get the result the community in Masham deserves.”

Mr Smith also praised Coun Grainger’s work as a “strong champion for Masham” on the tourist signs campaign.