The ‘unauthorised’ roadworks which marred the opening of the Harrogate Spring Flower Show started despite contractors being advised the event was taking place.
Residents and visitors travelling on Wetherby Road were met with severe delays on the morning of Thursday, April 23, which many believed was caused by the annual event.
However, the traffic was exacerbated by contractors undertaking road patching on Rudbeck Close and Wetherby Road without the required street works notice.
North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) apologised sincerely for the inconvenience caused and said they are working to prevent any unauthorised work being carried out in the future.
David Bower, North Yorkshire’s Corporate Director for Business and Environmental Services stressed the council had planned on deliberately delaying the roadworks to provide ‘respite’ for the town.
He said: “We are more than aware of congestion issues in Harrogate and would not dream of planning works of this nature on a major route being used for a key event for the town such as the Spring Flower Show.”
“Our contractors started this work without a street works notice which they are required to submit. The contractor had been advised that the show was taking place and other planned work had been specifically cancelled.
“We deliberately delayed some major works from our highways improvement programme in order to provide some respite for the town after completing a number of major projects from a multi-million pound investment in Harrogate’s transport network.
“I am therefore extremely concerned this work took place.”
NYCC said that they ‘stepped in quickly’ as soon as they were made aware of the problem on Thursday, ordering the contractors to move off the site and then stopping the traffic management.
The County Council has now assured residents that any further road works on Rudbeck Close and Wetherby Road that have not been completed will be rescheduled at a more ‘appropriate time’.
A spokesperson for NYCC said: “After investigating the incident the county council is clear that it did not authorise the works.
“The contractor had started the work without the required street works notice and despite being advised that the show was taking place
“The contractor has assured the county council that it is reviewing its notices and work scheduling arrangements to avoid any similar occurrence.”