The public consultation had just been launched but before the battle for the future of traffic congestion in Harrogate and Knaresborough had even begun, a residents group has had its banner defaced.
In a sign of what could become a heated debate during North Yorkshire County Council's 12-week long online survey into the public's views on how to solve the problem of jams and delays, unknown vandals attacked the huge sign designed and paid-for by newly-formed residents group HALT (Harrogate and Knaresborough Alliance for Less Traffic).
Harrogate congestion: How public will decide future in new consultation
Located on the Nidderdale greenway in Harrogate at the junction with Bilton lane where a future relief road to Forest Lane via the fields near Nidd Gorge is one of the options for discussion, the giant words "Save Nidd Gorge and the Nidderdale Greenway - Relief Roads Don't Work' now has a hole where the word 'Don't' was.
As well as being potentially a matter for the police, the campaign group has now had to pay for the vandalised sign to be re-made.
Members of Nidd Gorge Community Action Group posted on Facebook after the incident saying: "Please help us find the person who vandalised our banner! They are suffering from reading too much NYCC propaganda and need urgent re-education."