Yoxford: Businessman criticises Anglian Water for closing A1120 tourist route at height of summer

A BUSINESSMAN has hit out at an utilities company for closing a major tourist route at the height of the summer season.

Anglian Water will start repairing a collapsed sewer in Little Street in Yoxford on Monday - shutting the A1120 which links the A14 to the coast. The emergency work - between Strickland Manor Hill and The Lane - is expected to take five weeks.

Concerns have been raised about the affect the road closure could have on businesses that rely on the passing tourist trade, especially with the final August Bank Holiday looming.

But bosses at Anglian Water say it is vital the work is carried out as soon as possible for safety reasons.

Carl Bennett, of the Yoxford Food Company, said: “You might as well put a ‘closed’ sign up.

“The work will prevent all Bank Holiday travellers from the Midlands using the well-known tourist route and deprive local businesses throughout Suffolk Coastal of much-needed revenue in a summer blighted by bad weather and the Olympics.

“In any other first-world nation this work on a main A road and signposted tourist route could be done in less than a week. It is impossible to imagine any holiday resort or local authority in Europe permitting a tourist route to be shut in peak season. The words ‘I’m sorry’ and a rueful grin is not adequate compensation.”

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Anglian Water’s Ciaran Nelson said engineers would be working evenings and weekends to try and get the job done ahead of schedule.

Apologising for the inconvenience he said: “We’re not starting until Monday to try and avoid inconveniencing this weekend’s Yoxford Arts Festival, but we cannot leave the work any longer.

“There is a risk the collapsed sewer has caused a cavity under the road. This could cause the road to collapse, which would be very dangerous for passing traffic.”

Sewage is currently being diverted around the damaged section of sewer and two-way traffic lights are in place.

“The consequences of not carrying out the repair could be blocked sewers, flooding, and even environmental damage,” Mr Nelson added.