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Road closure labeled 'catastrophic' as businesses seek answers over Kex Gill

Businesses meet with the county council over A59 Kex Gill road closure

7:39am 12th June 2018
(Updated 7:40am 12th June 2018)

Businesses on the A59 have told Stray FM they're struggling to cope during the current closure at Kex Gill.

The road between Blubberhouses and Skipton has been shut since the end of May after movement was detected.

Yesterday, traders met with representatives of North Yorkshire County Council.

Catastrophic

One of those struggling, Andrew Ashby, from The Millstones, admitted they may have to look at the number of staff they employ as a result.

"Oh, it's catastrophic this time.

"Last time it was during the winter months and we had to accept it

"But this time we were just getting into the holiday season.

"First week of half-term and a few days into the second week...brilliant, absolutely buzzing, it was great.

"We were all excited.

"And then suddenly on Thursday morning, to have the road closed, what are we supposed to do?

"We've just halved our trade."

Yesterday, Specialist equipment was brought in to investigate the cause of movement underneath the highway.

Kex Gill

Glenn Garbut, from the Queen's Head, described how the closure had come at the worst possible time:

"We've had a really tough winter this year and we were just starting to get through it all.

"But now as a consequence of the Kex Gill closure we're suffering massively.

"We'll have to look at employees, how we're going to do it and everything.

"It's very very difficult at the moment."

At the meeting, traders pleaded for more information. 

Howard Barker, from Petties Paws, said:

"I think it's the unknown really"

"Yes, if it's going to be shut for 2 weeks, 3 weeks it's not such a long time.

"But if we're talking 6 months...can we survive for 6 months?

"Probably not."

Motorists are currently being diverted via Ilkley and Otley.

North Yorkshire County Council said it was committed to working with businesses, and said it hoped the road would re-open within weeks.

"Whatever happens, we want to open the road as quickly as possible."

LISTEN: Stray FM spoke to Cllr. Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, at North Yorkshire County Council:

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