Landlord's anger at road signs

FURIOUS landlord Mick Collins said he could lose trade at a busy time of year because of misleading road signs.The boss at the Grafton Arms pub at Barnham on the A143 road between Bury St Edmunds and Thetford said the signs warning drivers of a seven-mile closure further along the stretch are forcing traffic out of the area completely.

FURIOUS landlord Mick Collins said he could lose trade at a busy time of year because of misleading road signs.

The boss at the Grafton Arms pub at Barnham on the A143 road between Bury St Edmunds and Thetford said the signs warning drivers of a seven-mile closure further along the stretch are forcing traffic out of the area completely.

Mr Collins said the signs which read "road ahead closed", are misleading because the A134 is open to the Barnham crossroads.

He is now calling on council staff to make the signs clearer so the five-week closure does not cost him £5,000 in lost trade.


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"People think they can't get to Barnham when they can. People either think they can't get to me or I'm shut.

"Usually, I do around 25 meals every lunchtime but yesterday I only did four. I've even had people ring me up and cancel bookings for the weekend because they think they can't get to me.

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"There's no need for these signs, especially as drivers can still cut up to the A1088 and on to the A14. At the moment they're funnelling all the traffic to the A11, which is already chock-a-block but for a lot of drivers travelling to Bury or Ipswich it would be far easier to go through to the Ipswich road via Barnham."

Mr Collins said the effects of the signs on business at a busy time of year would be damaging, if nothing is done for the five-week closure for resurfacing between Barnham and Ingham.

Mike Atkins, highways maintenance manager for the council, said: "A section of the A134 is closed to enable essential resurfacing works to be completed safely and efficiently. The work is being carried out now to avoid more extensive work at a later date, which would entail greater delays and disruption.

"The road outside the Grafton Arms is open to traffic, but we appreciate that the closure of part of the A134 may well be affecting passing trade. "We will be placing signs at the southern end of the diversion indicating that local businesses are open as usual and we are currently talking to colleagues at Norfolk County Council about placing similar signs to the north.

"We understand the frustrations of local businesses that may be suffering in this way and will try to minimise any adverse effects of our work. We are working with our contractor to complete the job as quickly as possible and to get the road open again.

"Suffolk County Council consulted with all the affected parish councils prior to the work starting and we had detailed discussions with some of the businesses situated within the road closure.

"Whilst we try to help local businesses as far as possible, there is no legal right to passing trade. We do, however, have a legal duty to maintain the highway."

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