Dales tourist spot suffers 'ghost town' effect after road sign confusion

The 'road closed ahead' signs outside the Flying Dutchman pub in Summerbridge  with a handwritten bit added by residents making it clear Pateley Bridge is still open for business.
The 'road closed ahead' signs outside the Flying Dutchman pub in Summerbridge with a handwritten bit added by residents making it clear Pateley Bridge is still open for business.

A business leader says a Dales tourist spot has been left like a 'ghost town' after confusing road closure signs.

The trouble started more than a week ago when residents spotted a road closure signs on the road from Grassington to Greenhow and from Summerbridge to Pateley Bridge.


On being told that the accidental knock-on effect of the sign outside the Flying Dutchman pub in Summerbridge was that traffic wasn't going through to Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale Chamber of Trade chairman Keith Tordoff went personally to look at the signage.


Keith said: "The signs all said road ahead closed. At Summerbridge the road was physically blocked with a large sign and cones across it.


"There was nothing to say Pateley Bridge or businesses were open as usual. I made enquiries and established work was taking place at Hilltop Farm Greenhow by Yorkshire Water."
But that was not the end of the matter.


Keith said: "Yorkshire Water referred me to their contractor Morrisons. They told me they would look into matters.
"Later that day I was told the signage would be removed as the work was unable to be progressed and would have to be scheduled for another day."
"But last Tuesday, August 21 I was contacted by Morrisons who told me that work would be recommencing the next day Wednesday, resulting in roads having to be closed.
"They told me that signage had been prepared saying Pateley Bridge and businesses were open as usual."


But Wednesday came and once again there was very little traffic arriving in Pateley Bridge.


Keith said: "As before signs at Summerbridge said road ahead closed and there were none saying Pateley and businesses open as usual.
"Vehicles were either turning off or around from the junction. Signs after this one did say Pateley and businesses open as usual.
"The trouble with these signs were that these were well beyond the ones where people were turning around from. The same applied on the road from Grassington to Greenhow. So I rang Morrsions again."


But yesterday. Thursday, August 23 the first set of signs did not have Pateley Bridge and businesses open as usual.
Likewise from Grassington there were no such signs.


Residents have grown so angry, they took action themselves, adapting the road signs with the words "closed at Greenhow Hill B(beyond Pateley Bridge)'" to make clear traffic could still get to Pateley Bridge.


Keith said: "Pateley Bridge is almost like a ghost town. During what should be the busy summer holidays for businesses and in the middle of when the Nidd Art Trail is taking place all have been badly affected.


"We appreciate works have to be carried out but there must be better consultation with people who understand the local area and certainly with the representatives of the business community.
"Yorkshire water and the contractors have made a total hash of providing the necessary signage."

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