Sign of the times

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IS every public body signed up to the Government’s drive to support tourism and rural economy? They should be. Yet, shamefully, this question has to be asked because of a funding farce over a set of supposedly simple road signs planned for the widened stretch of the A1M through North Yorkshire.

Understandably, existing “brown” signs, pointing to tourist attractions, had to be pulled down or relocated while the roadworks took place. It was an added hindrance to those locations which rely on passing trade.

Imagine the astonishment when the Highways Agency said it would cost up to £190,000 to erect some signs promoting the quaint town of Masham, one of the gems of the Yorkshire Dales.

Thankfully common sense prevailed thanks to the input, among others, of local MP Julian Smith, and a much more acceptable price agreed.

However, this episode is enough to send the country further down the road to financial ruin and reinforce the view that the public sector is proving to be a roadblock at a time when common sense and value for money need the green light.