A road which has been described as one of the worst in the county will not be repaired ahead of the forthcoming Tour de Yorkshire for fears it will “embarrass” the town.

For the past two years, calls have been made for Church Street, in Norton, to be resurfaced. However, despite having the money in place, North Yorkshire County Council said it will not repair the road ahead of the inaugural cycle race, which travels through Norton on May 2.

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The road surface in Church Street, Norton.

Richard Marr, county highway manager for Ryedale, said while Church Street was a priority and money had been allocated from the start of the next financial year, work would not get underway until after the event.

“We looked long and hard at the project and I was not convinced that if we started on April 1 we would be finished by the time of the race,” he said. “The footpath is all over the place and there are level problems with the road. It is not just a question of resurfacing, there is a lot of work involved and with Easter coming up I do not want to embarrass Norton by having roadworks there on the day of the race.”

Mr Marr said the county council did not want to be seen as throwing money at a bike race.

“The race directors have driven the route and have not raised any concerns,” he said. “This event is in a different league to the Tour de France and riders expect variations in road surfaces.”

Matthew Enticknap, a member of Malton Wheelers Road Club, said his bike regularly suffered punctures while cycling along Church Street.

“The surface is so uneven and covered with potholes, as well as subsiding – it really does need sorting properly,” he said.

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“On the day of the race there will be about 200 cyclists coming through the centre of Norton at 30 to 35mph and if one of them hits one of the potholes it could easily have a knock-on effect and result in quite a bad crash.

“This is a fantastic event for Norton and there is little likelihood it will every come through the town again, so we need to make the most of it.”

Members of Norton Town Council, which has set aside £5,000 for the Tour de Yorkshire, said they felt badly let down.

Councillor David Lloyd-Williams said: “This is one of the worst pieces of road in the whole of North Yorkshire.

“I have travelled on a lot of the route of the Tour de France and those roads were resurfaced six months before the race. This is a pretty sorry state of affairs by the county council, shame on them.”

Councillor Di Keal said: “North Yorkshire County Council is the authority which should face embarrassment in this situation – they should be mortified that having committed to resurfacing Church Street more than two years ago they still haven’t got it done. People in Norton are fed up with their excuses. It is time they stopped talking about this work and got on with the job, otherwise it will be the county council who will be red-faced by this road when the Tour de Yorkshire races through the town.”