MP fights for Masham signs

Masham lost its tourism signs during the A1 upgrade.
Masham lost its tourism signs during the A1 upgrade.
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Ripon MP Julian Smith will meet the Transport Secretary to try and solve Masham’s ongoing row over a lack of brown tourist signs directing visitors into the town.

Masham was left without brown signs following the multi-million pound upgrade of the A1 – but Mr Smith hopes to get the town back on the map.

“Businesses in the town, and those further up the Dale, are reporting a drop in passing visitor custom. We have had success in having a brown sign installed by the Highways Agency southbound off the A1,” Mr Smith told the Gazette.

“But I share the frustration of the community that there is still no signage on the northbound carriageway and will continue to do all I can to help.”

Mr Smith met with Masham Old Station Café owner and parish councillor Flo Grainger to get the latest information about the ongoing impact to Masham and plans to meet Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to discuss the concerns of residents and businesses. The town council was told it would face costs of more than £34,000 to install signs.

“I will be asking the Transport Secretary to do all he can to encourage the Highways Agency to find a sensible solution that is affordable and practical. With the Tour de France due to pass through Masham next year, it is important we do all we can do to ensure the town is able to capitalise on this great sporting event and in order to do that, people need to be able to easily find Masham on the map and off the motorway,” he said.

Masham county Coun Paul Richardson told the Gazette: “It is essential that we move forward because Masham is the gateway to the Dales and trade has markedly fallen since the signs were removed.”