Road surface at Aysgarth Falls branded a ‘disgrace’

Aysgarth Falls.

The road surface of Church Bank near Aysgarth Falls is now deteriorating rapidly, it was reported at Carperby annual parish meeting.

‘It is a disgrace,’ said the chairman, Carperby cum Thoresby parish councillor John Amsden.

North Yorkshire councillor Yvonne Peacock said that the county highways department had had to deal with several urgent jobs recently.

But parish councillor Steve Sheldon commented: ‘There is really no excuse.’ He explained that the condition of that road had been reported to the highways department several times in the last few years.

He pointed out that if the road surface had been repaired earlier it would not have cost as much as it would now. Cllr Peacock said she would follow up on this.

Cllr Peacock was asked to find out the load bearing capacity of Yore Mill bridge to ascertain if a weight restriction should be implemented to protect it. Once this information has been obtained the councillors will discuss whether or not a weight restriction would need to be requested.

County councillors. – Cllr Peacock was invited by the village as a North Yorkshire councillor to attend the parish meeting and acted as the auctioneer for the letting of parish lands.

Cllr Karin Sedgwick, whose North Yorkshire ward includes Carperby, was unable to attend and unfortunately had not been available since March 2023.  ‘I am very disappointed with our own county councillor,’ said Cllr Amsden.

The parish councillors stated that they felt that Carperby would fit better in an upper dales ward.

Freeholders Wood. – Penny Manoch and Cllr Amsden reported on recent meeting of Carperby Freeholders with representatives of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) concerning Freeholders Wood.

It was emphasised that only Freeholders can take wood from there. Cllr Amsden said he did have a list of houses in the village which had Freeholder rights.

He added that when there was wood ready to be collected the gate should be locked with only Freeholders having access as others were taking it. ‘The wood is worth much more than it was ten years ago,’ he commented.

School transport. – There was concern about the county council’s proposed alteration to the Home to School travel policy. Cllr Peacock explained that it was proposed to transport children to their nearest school rather than to that within their catchment area.

She said this could lead to some children travelling by bus over some difficult Pennine routes. She encouraged residents to participate in the consultation which ends of April 12.

There was also concern about the planned phasing out of telephone landlines especially as mobile phones didn’t work during the four-day power cut in upper Swaledale following Storm Arwen in November 2021.

Parking. – Cllr Amsden reported that more vehicles were being parked on the village verges.

He was asked if large stones could be painted white and placed along the verges. But he and others pointed out that these could be a hazard to walkers and the parish council would be responsible for any accidents.

Precept. – Cllr Amsden explained that the parish council’s precept had risen from £4,900 to £6,500 mainly due to the increase in the cost of insurance.

Housing. – Cllr Peacock reported on how the provision of more local occupancy housing was being considered in the preparation of the YDNPA’s next Local Plan.

She said it was proposed that no new houses could be used as holiday lets or second homes and added: ‘I hope we get some local houses at affordable prices. We want houses for local young people – people who will be part of the community.’

Cllr Amsden noted that young people were being forced to move out to Richmond and Catterick as the price of a two-bedroom house was about £30,000 higher inside the National Park.

At the parish council meeting later Cllr Sheldon asked how one defined ‘affordable’ and commented on how many houses in the villages were now second homes or holiday lets. ‘There should be no more than 10 per cent in the National Park … and planning permission should be needed for change of use,’ he said.

He commented that the strategic housing survey  sent out by a third party on behalf of the YDNPA was not easy to understand, the questions were often too broad, and few were relevant to parish councils.

Memorial bench. – It was reported that a memorial bench was collapsing and was dangerous. It was agreed this should be replaced as soon as possible with a new wooden bench.

The annual meeting of the parish council will be held in the village institute on Monday May 13.


  1. The whole road infrastructure in Yorkshire is collapsing, as it is across the country, dangerous potholes, cracks, general disintegration of the surface. For years now poor patching,rather than proper carrying out repairs have lead to the mess, drains have not been cleaned, a lot so clogged with mud and will need major work to clear, manholes are sinking into the surface. It is, a if the highways department are going around with their eyes closed and ignoring their responsibility. In Quakers Lane, Richmond one 100yd stretch of road has been resurfaced correctly, rather than, spray tar on, scatter some gravel to cover up the problems. Come, get out there and do your job properly, supervise the work, rather than have somebody go out pour a bit of tarmac in an unclean hole, and then jump up a down on it,.

  2. All the roads in Richmondshire are an absolute disgrace. R.D.C. you should be ashamed. Why is tax payers money not being spent wisely and honestly?

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