East Suffolk: Pub backs bypass campaign
SITTING beside a busy main road that carries thousands of motorists every day, you might think a village pub’s owners would see passing traffic as a bonus.
But the landlords of the Lion Inn, at Little Glemham, near Saxmundham, believe that if their home village was bypassed, business would be even better – and quality of life for staff and customers would be much improved.
The country pub is backing the EADT’s campaign for a long-awaited bypass on the A12 for the four villages of Little Glemham, Marlesford, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham.
The campaign, Bypass 4 The Villages, hopes to end decades of traffic misery for people living along the busy route after years of broken promises and plans that have stalled at the planning stages.
Hundreds of people have already pledged their support.Adam and Avril Wardrop, who bought the Lion Inn seven years ago, said the traffic on the A12 was too heavy for what is a narrow, single carriageway stretch.
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“When we first bought the pub we assumed that the majority of business would come in off the main road,” she said. “However, since we’ve been here, if anything it’s the other way around. Only around 20% of our trade comes in off the road.
“Fortunately, we have built up a solid loyal customer base within the community.”
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She added: “A bypass has been talked about ever since we moved here.
“Obviously, when we bought the pub we knew about the road and you get used to it living here. The road was here before we were. Luckily, we are set back. But the main road does split the village. When our two children were younger we wouldn’t let them outside on their bikes”
Mr Wardrop said: “The problem is that if you don’t know we are here then most people miss us – by the time you see us you are right on top of the pub.
“If you get a large articulated lorry behind you, or in front of you, you may be less likely to stop.
“Also, a bypass would hopefully reduce the number of lorries, which would hopefully encourage more people to visit and sit outside.
“At the moment you can’t hold a conversation because the lorries thunder past so loudly. A bypass would enable us to do a lot more out the front and make it a nicer environment.”
More than 250 people have added their support to the EADT’s campaign for the bypass, which would run between Wickham Market and the Friday Street junction at Benhall.
It was costed at �56million in 2006, but Suffolk County Council, which owns the road, believes it has little chance of securing Government funding for it.
Many people think the best chance may come if EDF is allowed to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell, as the energy giant will be asked to contribute to local transport schemes.
The EADT believes action is needed on the important project regardless of any other development.
To show your support, fill in the campaign coupon, or visit www.eadt.co.uk/bypass4thevillages