County Council’s Roadside sign ban puts Business Recovery in jeopardy

County Council’s Roadside sign ban puts Business Recovery in jeopardy

North Yorkshire County Council has been accused of jeopardising trade for businesses in a Harrogate village after banning signs at the entrance to their “hidden” location.

Since the authority’s highways department demanded signs advertising firms located in Killinghall quarry be removed from the side of the A61, passing trade – which many rely on – has dropped dramatically.

Quarry owner Richard Hymas said: “The quarry is home to more than a dozen small businesses and the signs were vital for passing trade and advertising our services.

“Unless you know where the quarry is we are not easy to find. Since being removed we became virtually invisible overnight.

“Three weeks ago I sent the highways authority my design for an alternative sign promoting the quarry, which I’m keen to get up as soon as possible.

“However, I’m still awaiting a reply. The longer we are without signage the longer businesses here will hurt.”

Mr Hymas added: “We have also had a few incidences with drivers swerving to avoid cyclist because they were busy looking for the industrial estate instead of keeping their eyes on the road.

“Fortunately so far no one has been hurt. But confused drivers are dangerous drivers and signage is needed.”

County Councillor David Simister (UKIP, Bilton & Nidd Gorge), who was contacted by Mr Hymas, said: “The quarry is occupied by small businesses, all of which pay taxes and business rates.

“The highways department said since ‘the recession was over’, it had a countywide policy to remove advertising signs that did not comply with current standards.

“The authority needs to be supporting small businesses, not penalising them. Instead of dragging its heels it should be pulling out the stops to sanction a suitable replacement and ensure the quarry and its businesses are back on the road map.”

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