PLANNED work which had been due to shut Haworth's famous Main Street during the busy pre-Christmas period has been postponed.

Villagers reacted with dismay when Bradford Council revealed the street would be closed for essential repairs between December 1 and 12.

A planned Victorian Christmas Market has already been axed and traders feared the wider consequences of the closure.

But Yorkshire Water, which is carrying out the work, said last week that it had been put on ice until after the New Year.

A spokesman said: "We were due to carry out investigations into cross connection issues in Main Street.

"The dates in December were agreed by Bradford Council but coincided with the annual Victorian Christmas Market , on December 6 and 7. Although we agreed to reinstate the road for the market to go ahead, the decision was taken to cancel the event.

"Since then the council has agreed that we can postpone our investigative work until January."

Haworth Christmas events organiser and Main Street trader Mike Hutchinson said it was important that people understood that most of the village's annual programme of Yuletide weekend festivities is still going ahead.

"We have a big problem with people who have seen what has happened to the market and they now think that all the Christmas weekend entertainments have been cancelled," he warned.

"One person rang me and asked 'are all the shops going to be shut?' Another person rang and said: 'so, have all the Christmas weekends been cancelled?'

"We want people to know that all the other weekends are still going ahead and the shops and cafes will be open.

"It is a shame about the Victorian market though. People were really looking forward to it."

Councillor John Huxley, chairman of the village’s parish council, welcomed the news of the repair works postponement.

But he is critical of a "lack of connection" between utility companies and what's happening in Haworth.

"They are not looking at Haworth as a tourist village which has events – they are treating it as an ordinary village," he said.

"At the time of the Tour de France earlier this year we had Northern Gas Networks trying to dig up the roads the week before.

"Now we have lost the Victorian Christmas Market event through proposed works.

"There seems to be a worrying pattern and people don't appear to understand we depend on tourism for jobs and income."

Christmas market organiser, Andrew Vaux, said it was too late to 'reinstate' the event for this year.

"I'm disappointed that there wasn't better communication earlier on which could have avoided all this," he said.

"But I am now looking forward to next year and am aiming to make the event even bigger and better."

Bands, street entertainment and stalls had been booked for the extravaganza, which was to have taken place on the weekend of December 6 to 7.