THe campaign to see Masham signposted from the newly upgraded A1(M) continues apace as campaigners fight costs that could run into tens of thousands.
Business owners have agreed a plan that will see two brown tourist signs for Masham on the north-bound carriage of the motorway at the A61 junction after the Department for Transport agreed to allow signs to the town, but the town could face costs of more than £34,000 to see them installed.
Campaigners are set to meet officials from the Highways Agency and North Yorkshire County Council next week to discuss the cost, the third meeting which has taken place in Masham in recent weeks, and the campaign has been discussed in Parliament after MP Julian Smith asked the Transport Minister Justine Greening to look into the costs.
An initial proposal for 10 signs on the motorway looked set to cost almost £190,000, but last week local business campaigners and officials agreed to change the plan to two signs, costing from £34,000.
Flo Grainger, who runs the Old Station Holiday Park in Masham, said: “It was quite a positive meeting, but it’s still very expensive and we’re not quite sure where the money is going to come from.”
Masham MP Julian Smith has been supporting the campaign and has raised his concerns over the cost of signs in the House of Commons.
“Julian’s been working very hard to bring the costs down, he’s doing an amazing job,” Mrs Grainger added.
The MP has also been praised by the Transport Minister who said she wanted to “pay tribute” to his work on the campaign during transport questions at Westminster.
Ms Greening said: “We have challenged the costs that were originally proposed, and they will be substantially lower.
I pay tribute to my honourable friend and to the Roads Minister for working so closely with the Highways Agency to reach what should be a good solution to improving the brown signs for Masham.”