Closure of Woods Lane in Woodbridge hits traders in the town

Jill Barrett is pictured at Barretts of Woodbridge. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Jill Barrett is pictured at Barretts of Woodbridge. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

A business owner from Woodbridge says her shop saw a 20% drop in trade due to the closure of Woods Lane in Melton before Christmas - and is keen to let people know that the town is ‘still open for business’.

Jill Barrett, who owns home furnishing store Barretts of Woodbridge in the town’s thoroughfare, said the closure of the road has had a detrimental affect on businesses in the area, with many people thinking the town is not accessible due to the closure.

The closure comes as Bloor Homes work to build the 180 home Longwood Fields development in Melton, on the outskirts of Woodbridge.

She said: “We found during November our sales were about 20% down on the year before.

“It picked up in December when the road reopened but has gone back down.

“The road has been closed without consideration of the local businesses.

“I think a lot of it is people thinking the road is going to be a lot worse than it is.

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“We just want people to know Woodbridge is still open for business.”

Mrs Barrett said she had been passed from one organisation to the next, trying to find someone to take responsibility for the disruption.

She argued that businesses should be compensated for the harm the closure has had on trade and that Suffolk Coastal District Council could do more to help out such as offering up free parking to shoppers.

She said: “Maybe the council could be a bit more creative in thinking up ways to help businesses in the town.

“Woodbridge has such a lot to offer, there is lots for people to do with the coffee shops, cinema, independent shops and the cheap car parking,

“We have enough to contend with at the moment - what with out of town shopping.”

Geoff Holdcroft, deputy leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “All the local councils continue to work closely with Bloor Homes to make sure they manage this closure in order to minimise disruption.

“On a personal level, I will try to do everything within my power to ensure Bloor Homes completes the work as soon as possible.

“I will lease with the local business community to see if there is any practical support we can offer them.”