Anger over closure of A684 during school holidays

Road bosses have been criticised for a decision to close the A684 in Wensleydale for repairs during the summer school holidays.

The route will be shut between Mill Lane in Leyburn eastwards to its junction with Colliwath Lane in Harmby for six working days from Thursday, July 20 for resurfacing work.

Local businessman Richard Warne, who runs Inspired Chocolate in Leyburn, has contacted local councillors and written to Rishi Sunak about the closure.

He said: “Like most tourism businesses, we are extremely reliant on the tourist season and in particular, the summer holidays of July and August to make enough money to cover the rest of the year.

“Accordingly we have planned our staff rotas and employed to support what needed to be a busy July given the huge economic challenges facing businesses like us.

“Richmondshire is a rural area so I am at a loss as to how they could plan or authorise others to close a key tourist main route in the summer holidays for essentially two weeks without realising or understanding it would have major repercussions? It suggests being completely out of touch.”

In response, North Yorkshire Council’s interim head of highway operations, Jayne Charlton, said: “The closure of the A684, Harmby Road is to allow the road to be resurfaced and we apologise for any inconvenience this essential highway work and associated road closure may cause.

“ Unfortunately it is not possible to carry out all highway works in the winter months. To minimise the disruption of this road closure the works will be carried out in off peak hours only, 9.30am t0 3.30pm for a period of six working days.

“A fully signed diversion will be in place throughout these works and traffic ambassadors will be deployed at each end of the closure to assist with local access needs.

“Every effort will be made to communicate this closure as widely as possible via notification letters, advance warning signs on site and publication on the One Network website.  We are also going to arrange for the closure to be published via social media.”


  1. How out of touch with the real world is Jane Charlton in stating that the work is only going to take place during ‘off peak hours between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm’ in the middle of the area’s tourist industry’s busiest time of the year? Surely this work would be better scheduled just a few weeks later?

  2. The complainants would complain if the road surface was in poor condition! The road will be closed for only 6 hours out of 24 and there will be diversions so it shouldn’t be a major problem.

  3. The timing of these roadworks is absurd. Why were they not done earlier, in good time for the tourist traffic? It’s beyond belief. How do idiots manage to get good jobs?

  4. Off-peak hours: 9.30am to 3.30pm??? And right at the start of school summer holidays!!! Someone’s avin a larff. I don’t doubt for one minute that the roadworks are very necessary and probably well overdue but to arrange them at such a time as to cause maximum disruption is inexcusable stupidity. Par for the course really :/

  5. Thé works on the A684 have been taking place over June and July. The upper dales have already suffered 13 workings days of closure and inconvenience and now it continues with the lower dale affected. Do not underestimate the effects on tourism. A simple diversion doesn’t cut it when the National data base shows the route is closed. People who might have come for a ride out won’t bother. Another sector of major tourism are the Lakes to Dales travellers. They will pop the Dales destination in on their Sat Nav and they will be diverted up the A66 to avoid road works.
    Many of these works could be operated either through the night or under traffic light control.
    The county council mission statement is to support business, it’s about time they did just that. By the time the Harmby closure have taken place, the A684 will have been collectively closed for over a month in the peak tourist season, nothing short of a disgrace.

  6. It wouldn’t happen in Scarborough, Harrogate or other major towns in North Yorkshire but we are out in the sticks so it doesn’t really matter, another nail in the coffin for this Unitarian Council they are completely out of touch with the electorate at the local level,but we will be in touch at the next local elections!

  7. There is absolutely no reason, other than laziness, for closing the road . The work could be done half at a time with traffic flow continuing controlled by traffic lights.

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