Council removes anti-speeding scarecrows in Nidd for ‘safety reasons’
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Last updated Oct 23, 2023
Two of the scarecrows.

North Yorkshire Council has removed several scarecrows created as part of an anti-speeding campaign in a village between Harrogate and Knaresborough.

Residents in Nidd put up about 16 scarecrows near the B6165 and Town Street this month as part of a campaign to reduce the speed limit after two recent fatal accidents.

Several were designed to look like police officers and some contained messages.

But North Yorkshire Council removed the ones immediately alongside the highways last week. Several on private land remain.

A council spokesperson said:

“Our highways team contacted festival organisers on Thursday requesting that scarecrows near the road were removed ahead of Storm Babet.

“They were not able to get hold of the organisers so officers were sent to remove scarecrows close to the road due to safety reasons.

“The scarecrows are being kept safe at the highways depot for collection. The organisers and parish council were informed of this.”

Several scarecrows have high visability jackets.

A police officer scarecrow.

The activists’ creative scarecrow stunt has divided opinion in Nidd.

Some villagers embraced the move to raise awareness of the campaign to reduce the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph.

The B6165, which links Ripley and Knaresborough, has some sharp, narrow bends in Nidd, especially near Nidd Hall.

Villager and co-organiser Jayne Brown said the scarecrow festival served its purpose:

“It definitely had an big impact on reducing the speed and making the lives of the people in the village safer.”

Ms Brown added that less than 36 hours after the scarecrows were removed a car crashed into a wall.

But others thought the stunt was ill-advised.

The clerk of Nidd Parish Council, who asked not to be named, said although it sympathised with the cause it did not think the methods were appropriate.

The clerk reiterated her previous comment, which said:

“We are concerned that any distractions to drivers as they approach, what we all agree is a dangerous bend, is not sensible.”

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