Shopkeepers' anger at road closure

SHOPKEEPERS have claimed they are losing vital trade after the main road into their town was closed.The A1094 road into Aldeburgh closed on September 25 for four weeks for road works to be carried out - but shop owners said the county council failed to display a sign saying businesses were open as usual at the Hall Farm complex until yesterday.

By Richard Smith

SHOPKEEPERS have claimed they are losing vital trade after the main road into their town was closed.

The A1094 road into Aldeburgh closed on September 25 for four weeks for road works to be carried out - but shop owners said the county council failed to display a sign saying businesses were open as usual at the Hall Farm complex until yesterday.

Suffolk County Council admitted there had been a mistake and the sign was erected later than expected.


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The complex includes a garden centre, pot shop, tea room, farm shop, complementary health centre, hardware shop and French clothing.

Peter Hallam, owner of Planet Pot, said: “The problem initially was a complete lack of consultation. Just because an advert was put in the public notices section of the East Anglian Daily Times, was that to be the only consultation?

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“Had there been consultation we could perhaps have had it put off for a month because the impact for us in November would have been far less. The other businesses are 12-months a year but we are not.”

Sarah Parsons, who works in the newly-opened Purely Hardware shop, said: “We did not think the road closure would make much difference and business had been picking up nicely before the road closed.

“But this week trade has been dead. If it was only for a week we could have been all right, but this is going on for four weeks. That is the scary thing.

“I can understand why the council needs to have a sign saying 'road closed' to stop people going up the road and then having to turn and go through Linden Road.

“But the sign is at the roundabout and that means people are not coming up here at all. It is devastating, absolutely devastating.”

Sharon Haste and her husband Andrew converted a barn to provide new retail units and they opened a tea room. She said: “We have noticed a drop in trade. A sign went up on Monday lunchtime to say the road was closed and then trade went dead.”

Sandra Graffham, the county council's environment and transport spokesman, said: “We do appreciate that it does cause inconvenience for people living and working in the area but it is something that has to be done.

“It is essential work that has been welcomed by the town council. The road closure signs are put up in advance of the roadworks so that people do not drive right up to the roadworks and have to do a three-point turn.”

The A1094 is closed to allow workmen to repair urgently a 1km stretch of road and to resurface a further 2kms of road. Work is being carried out seven days a week from 8.30am to 5.30pm to keep the road closure to a minimum.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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