Badingham: Pub closure fears as A1120 closure continues

A PUB landlady fears a slump in custom, since the closure of a rural Suffolk road for emergency sewer repairs, could have a crippling effect on business.

Susie Reader, of The White Horse, in Badingham, has reported a steady decline in trade since diversions were put in place at either end of Yoxford for work to be carried out on a collapsed sewer.

Following a number of complaints about the closure of a major tourist route at the height of the summer season, representatives of Anglian Water and Suffolk County Council’s highways team met with business owners affected by the closure of the A1120.

The company said diversion points were agreed upon with business owners - but Mrs Reader has since argued that the signs make little sense, causing confusion for passing motorists.

The work, which began on Monday, August 13, between Strickland Manor Hill and The Lane, was expected to take five weeks to complete - but Anglian Water hopes engineers will finish ahead of schedule.

Several businesses in Yoxford and Peasenhall, and now The White Horse, in Badingham, have complained about the impact of the diversion route on their trade, especially over the last Bank Holiday weekend.

The route directs traffic from the A1120 at Badingham on to the B1120 towards Framlingham, before joining the B1119 and reconnecting with the A12 at Saxmundham.

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Mrs Reader said: “It’s the most bizarre diversion I’ve ever seen. A big flashing sign tells drivers to take the road to Framlingham, but if they choose to ignore it, the next sign says businesses are open as usual, then there’s another sign outside the pub saying the road is closed.

“We’ve had lorries stopping in the middle of the road and turning in the drive

“There seems no reason why they can’t just let people drive through - or at least divert lorries and let tourist traffic through.

“No one is working on the road between here and Yoxford. It’s seriously affecting business.”

Suffolk County Council said that when determining a diversion route, it was important to take account of traffic volumes and the types of vehicle likely to use the roads affected, and that heavy goods vehicles were kept on numbered local routes.

A spokesman added: “The diversion made necessary by urgent sewer repair works in Yoxford has been drawn up between Anglian Water’s contractors and the county council.

“In this case, road users, including HGV drivers, are being directed to use designated B roads to make their journeys.”

Anglian Water has argued that the work is essential, and that to do nothing would risk flooding or a collapse in the road surface. Spokesman, Antony Innes said: “Work is progressing ahead of schedule but we are unable to say whether the work will finish before the end of next week.

“Our priority is getting the road open and safe to use.”