Peasenhall: Traders accuse Anglian Water of leaving them ‘high and dry’ over closure of A1120

WATER chiefs were last night accused of leaving traders “high and dry” following a decision to close a major tourist route at the height of the summer season.

From today Little Street in Yoxford will be shut for five weeks as engineers carry out emergency sewer repairs. The move by Anglian Water means the A1120 – which links the A14 to the coast – will be closed at what is usually a very busy time for businesses along the route.

Among those affected are traders in Peasenhall, who fear the closure could have a detrimental impact.

Mark Thomas, of Emmett’s Store, said: “Anglian Water has left us high and dry. After a very wet summer, the current economic climate plus the lack of uplift during the Olympics the last thing we need is the shutting of the A1120 that coincides with the busiest time of the year for us.

“Without passing traffic we have no business. As the water companies found out recently, without water they struggle. Cars and holiday traffic are our liquidity. It’s totally unacceptable.

“Work has been taking place for some time in Yoxford. I am sure that Anglian Water knew of the problem and yet there has been no consultation over the direction and timing of the works.”

Leslie Rayner, of the Campaign gift shop, added: “A lot of traders on this road rely on the summer period to get them through between Christmas and Easter. There is a real concern that there just won’t be the business now.”

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Mr Rayner said they would like the diversion, which will bypass Peasenhall, to include the village. He also criticised Anglian Water for its lack of communication over the road closure, saying he and others had found it difficult to speak to representatives.

Anglian Water said the damage to the sewer was only recently discovered and needed to be tackled quickly.

The company’s Ciaran Nelson said engineers would be working at evenings and weekends to get the job done.

He apologised for the inconvenience but added: “The consequences of not carrying out the repair could be blocked sewers, flooding, and even environmental damage.” He said signage would make clear local shops remained open and that businesses could be put in touch with Anglian Water’s loss adjusters. The company also said it had been speaking to residents and businesses and would be delivering letters to those affected.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said anyone with concerns over the diversion should contact Anglian Water.