A ROAD closure is causing major disruption for a pub owner who fears it will mean thousands of pounds in lost business and cause mayhem for local farmers.

David Hawksworth, landlord of the Fox and Hounds at Bullamoor just outside Northallerton says the closure of the road outside his pub has already caused chaos with one farmer forced to ignore road closure signs or risk losing up to £75,000 worth of crops.

"It’s crazy originally they said there was going to be a road closure in September or October then they came back with a dual scheme between BT and Yorkshire Water and the road was going to be closed from August 27

"That was well before the end of the summer holidays finished so it was going to hit us all. There was no real liaison that’s the major problem. For local farmers it’s horrendous, they’ve been frantically trying to get their harvests in, one told us he could have lost £75,000 but ignored the signs. People are facing a seven and a half mile diversion.

"It’s already damaged business with losses of £2,500, I can’t afford to sustain that for five weeks it’s just madness, and there has been talk of compensation but I’ll believe that when I see it. No work was even being done when they first put the signs up."

Barrie Mason Assistant director for Highways said: “North Yorkshire has a statutory role coordinating all works in the road. Utility companies such as Yorkshire Water and BT have a statutory duty to carry out necessary works in a timely fashion to repair or improve their apparatus. We work with such companies to decide when it’s best for them to carry out their works, balancing what they need to do with the needs of other highway users. In this case the two utility companies decided to collaborate to carry out work at the same time to keep any disruption to a minimum. Ultimately, the utility companies are responsible for communicating the timing of their works we have been assured the necessary contacts were made in good time."

A Yorkshire Water spokesperson said: "We are carrying out planned works to install a new supply pipe between Bullamoor Reservoir and Mowbray Lodge, which means the road closed to traffic from August 27 to approximately October 31. We have sent out letters to all nearby residents, including the owner of the Fox and Hounds, to give advance warning. We recently met the owner and discussed the process for claiming loss of business."