Business owners in Knaresborough have reacted with dismay to the news that roadworks on a main route into town are likely to remain for several months.
Temporary lights were installed on Briggate after a wall collapsed in September.
Two months later, the lights remain. But no repair work has taken place and residents and traders don’t know why it is taking so long or why the rubble cant be removed until work commences so traffic can flow freely again.
Parking in Knaresborough is notoriously tricky, and exasperated traders say this and a spate of recent temporary lights in town, including Briggate, is deterring people from visiting.
North Yorkshire Council has now said lights are likely to remain on Briggate for several months.
Danielle Bartley, who opened The Hungry Caterpillar kids cafe on High Street in September, said just getting in to work from her Calcutt home “takes ages” because of the lights. She said:
“Parking is a massive issue in Knaresborough. A lot of customers pull up outside and say ‘where can I park?’
“I’ve been surprised since we opened how busy Knaresborough is. There’s a lot going on. If you get that much footfall there needs to be something better put in place for parking. It’s also dangerous.”
Rebecca Lombardi, from The Clothing Store of Knaresborough on High Street, has started offering free deliveries to help people who struggle to get into town.
Ms Lombardi said long-term lights near the leisure centre had caused problems during summer and the recent spate of roadworks, especially Briggate, added to the woes. She said:
“We have a really big problem with parking and it puts people off coming into town. People are so busy these days and if they want to nip somewhere they want somewhere to park.
“It’s a challenging time for retailers with the cost of living and every customer counts. It feels like everything is against you as a business.”
Hairdresser Kelly Teggin, who has campaigned for better parking Knaresborough, said she didn’t understand why the rubble from the wall couldn’t be removed until work began. She added:
“Most businesses and residents want the road cleared as soon as possible.”
North Yorkshire Council highways area manager Melisa Burnham said:
“We have temporary lights on Briggate as a result of the wall collapse. Work to repair the wall and ensure the safety of the structure will start in the next few weeks. This work is likely to take until Christmas, after which we will carry out maintenance on further parts of the wall, so signals will be in place for several months.”
Ms Burnham said emergency gas works at Abbey Road and Blands Hill had also caused disruption recently, but this was “unavoidable”.
Ms Burnham added the council had “asked Northern Gas Network to man the lights at peak time to minimise the disruption”.
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