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Concerns raised by Cliff Lane businesses after Great East Run organisers failed to notify them of planned road closure

PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:35 19 September 2017

 Cliff Lane shops.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Cliff Lane shops. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Road closure signs have been put up across the town ahead of the Great East Run next weekend, prompting questions from business owners in Cliff Lane who say they had not been told about the closures by the event organisers.

Reefscape Aquatics on Cliff Lane.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNReefscape Aquatics on Cliff Lane. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The prestigious event, which takes place on Sunday, September 24, will feature runners taking to the streets of Ipswich along closed off roads – one of which will be a portion of Cliff Lane.

But businesses in the area have said they were not made aware of the closure until they saw signs going up by the side of the road yesterday – just a week and a half before the run.

Sam Pollard, owner of Reefscape Aquatics in Cliff Lane, said: “I saw the signs by the road as I was driving in this morning and that was the first I heard.

“I had a notice a while back which asked to have your say, but it didn’t specify what was happening and the fact the road is going to be closed.

“I don’t think there’s much of a point in opening because it’s such a niche business it’s not really much custom from people walking past.

“Saturday and Sunday are busy for us so it’s going to take a good kick [financially].”

Mr Pollard said more notice should have been given in order to let customers know in advance, as well as allow businesses to plan around it.

Other businesses along the parade of shops were also unaware until earlier this week.

The parade of shops in Cliff Lane, Ipswich.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe parade of shops in Cliff Lane, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Tom Rout, reverend of St Luke’s Church, said its Harvest Festival Service would now take place at St Helen’s Church in Back Hamlet as a result, but that the church had considered this an issue.

Roadside signs began going up this week on affected roads informing motorists of the planned closures.

A spokeswoman from the Great East Run said letters began going out to affected businesses and homes last week, with all affected being informed by the end of this week.

She added: “The proposed route for the event was announced at the beginning of the year, and from that point on we have worked alongside the relevant bodies to secure the confirmations needed to deliver an event of this scale.

“As this is the first year of a new event, this process has taken slightly longer.

“We appreciate some local businesses will be affected, but we hope the majority will see the event as an opportunity to engage the 3,000 runners and their supporters.

“We are committed to making the event a success for the town and the wider region, and expect it will have a very positive economic impact as well as raise a significant amount of money for good causes.

“We take into account the feedback from local businesses and will endeavour to contact those directly affected sooner in 2018.”

For full details on the route and road closures, visit the Great East Run website here.

Are you on one of the affected roads and haven’t been informed? Share your experiences by emailing us here or commenting below.

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