Wetherby’s brown signs set for a comeback

Wetherby's brown signs to return this month.
Wetherby's brown signs to return this month.

Wetherby looks set to see the return of its brown tourism signs by the end of the month.

Former town mayor and councillor Alan Lamb has this week said his six-year battle to see the signs reinstated on the side of the A1 is finally nearing the end.

wet  Councillor Alan Lamb next to the stretch of Spofforth Hill which is now 30mph.  (130227M1)

wet Councillor Alan Lamb next to the stretch of Spofforth Hill which is now 30mph. (130227M1)

“I have been told by the Highways Agency that the signs will be up during the week commencing August 25.”

The original signs directing people to the historic market town were taken down when the A1 was expanded to create the A1M about eight years ago.

“For about 18 months after that people were asking were we not getting the signs back,” added Coun Lamb.

“At first the Highways Agency said Wetherby had never had brown signs then they said they were trying to reduce the amount of signs.”

It was in 2011 that a delegation, including the then town mayor Coun Cindy Bentley, Coun Lamb and former chairman of Wetherby Business Association Rosemary Nicholson, got an agreement in principle from the Minister of Transport of the time, Mike Penning.

“I am of a mind to write a book about getting the signs back. It has been such a battle,” added Coun Lamb.

“It was six or seven years since I sat in the town council meeting and said I would look after getting the signs put back up on the A1.”

The £19,000 cost of the brown tourism sign has seen a £5,000 pledge from Wetherby Business Association, with the rest being met by Wetherby Town and Leeds City councils.

“It is so important to the business community and the identity of Wetherby that we have the signs reinstated,” added Coun Lamb.

“Wetherby has so much to offer that it should be on the map but it saddens me how much we have had to pay to get them back.

“I will only say mission accomplished when I see them there at the roadside.”

The Wetherby News launched a Signpost Our Town campaign in 2008 after growing concerns over a decrease in trade following the changes to access into the town from the A1.

Coun Lamb hopes that moves to have brown signs put on roads off the A1 will be set in motion.