Dozens of local businesses have joined the campaign to keep Masham on the map with a joint letter to the Transport Secretary.
After collecting signatures from 57 businesses around Masham – including tourist accomodation, pubs, cafes, shops, farms and the town’s two breweries – MP Julian Smith has written to Transport Secretary Philip Hammond asking for signs to Mashamsire and the Lower Dales from the upgraded A1.
The letter points out that work to turn the A1 into a motorway has seen six signs to the area removed but none have been replaced, leading to confusion even among existing residents, and “unknown numbers of lost visitors.”
“A large part of rural Yorkshire feels it has been ignored and, if the confusion were to continue, the result would be closure for many rural businesses and unnecessary and unacceptable financial burden on others,” it says.
“We would like to see signs to Mashamshire and the Lower Dales restored on the upgraded A1(M) so that the millions spent upgrading the route has some benefit for the communities who live alongside the road and not just the major cities it connects.”
Mr Smith has been supporting the campaign by raising the issue in Westminster and in meetings with Ministers.
“It is positive to see so many businesses from Masham and the surrounding area supporting this campaign.
“As we have said from the start, having brown direction signs off the upgraded A1(M) is important for encouraging tourists to visit the attractions on offer.
“At a time when we need to be promoting growth in our economy, directing visitors who can have a good time and put money into our rural communities is important and we should be doing all we can to encourage that.
“The Government is currently conducting a review into the rules surrounding brown signs and I believe those rules need to be relaxed to make sure communities like Masham will always be on the map.”