Road closure shortened to one day to help Wickham Market businesses
PUBLISHED: 17:40 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:13 15 December 2018
Work that could have seen a main road in a Suffolk village closed for five days has been reduced after concerns from local businesses.
The High Street in Wickham Market was due to be closed for several days while work was undertaken to connect a house up to the main gas line which had been without hot water or heating for a number of months.
Now thanks to a joint effort between Wickham Market Parish Council, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council the work has been commuted to a day with an additional benefit being offered for potential visitors to the town.
There had been concerns in the village that a long closure would have a devastating impact on small businesses in Wickham Market at what should have been their busiest time.
Some businesses had clubbed together to promote their village to shoppers in the town with a leaflet having been produced at a cost of over £1,000.
While villagers were sympathetic and concerned about the family’s situation there were worries that if the diversions weren’t handled properly that people would not return to the village in the future.
Cath Caudwell from Wickham Market Partnership said last week that the county council needed to ensure proper diversions were in place “otherwise people are not going to bother coming back again”.
Suffolk County Council have worked with Cadent, who are connecting the gas, to ensure there are enough staff on site to complete the work within one day on Monday, December 17.
While the road is closed Suffolk Coastal District Council have worked with the parish to ensure that parking charges at the car park on the Hill will be suspended while there will also be free parking at the village all during the day for people to use.
Shuttle buses will be in place during the day with diversions also having been arranged to help travellers.
Parish clerk Jo Peters, said that the council had worked with both the county and district councillors to achieve this outcome.
“I am really pleased for the people to have their gas, this is brilliant news,” said Ms Peters.
“We have tried to minimise the impact for everybody.
“It has benefitted everyone and the impact on the businesses will be minimal at this important festive time.”