Traders' anger at roadworks

TRADERS and shoppers in a market town are facing problems as the result of roadworks - with one proprietor claiming his business has been “devastated”.

By David Green

TRADERS and shoppers in a market town are facing problems as the result of roadworks - with one proprietor claiming his business has been “devastated”.

A new, higher pressure gas main is being installed at Framlingham with the aim of improving supplies to local homes and businesses.

However, with roadworks now underway in one of the main shopping streets, College Road, commercial life is being disrupted - to the frustration of business people and customers.

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Chris Collins, who runs Framlingham Fish Bar, the local fish and chip shop, said his trade had been halved since the roadworks started and he was having to lay off staff.

“I am claiming compensation. People just can't park outside as they are used to doing. My trade has been devastated,” he said.

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Other shopkeepers, including Lisa Corley, who runs Elizabeth's ladies clothes shop, are claiming a loss of trade.

Mrs Corley said the parking bay in front of her shop had been coned off.

“Some of my customers cannot walk very far and this means they cannot get to the shop,” she said.

Mrs Corley said she believed the work in College Road could have been timed for the summer holidays because in term-time a great deal of traffic was generated outside the primary school.

Chris Clarke, a partner in Clarke and Simpson, estate agents and surveyors, said: “We appreciate the work has to be done but it is proving to be a nuisance and an inconvenience.”

Adie Warne, landlord of the White Horse pub, said trade was being affected but not seriously. “It is just an inconvenience,” he added.

Other parts of Framlingham will also be facing roadworks as part of the gas main contract, not due to be completed until December 11.

Stephanie Bennell, town council chairman, said she understood the concerns that were being expressed but the work being carried out was in a good cause.

“It is difficult at any time of the year but as far as traders are concerned it is better to have the town centre work done now than in the run-up to Christmas,” she said.

Mrs Bennell said the town had been forced to endure a series of roadworks in recent years. “I've never know a place to have so many in such a short time,” she added.

Graham McQuarrie , spokesman for National Grid, formerly Transco, said the work in College Road would take a further two or three weeks to complete. Contractors would then move elsewhere in the town.

“Framlingham has grown in population, more gas is being used and pressure has been dropping.

“We are replacing the old metal mains with modern plastic pipes which will solve the problem because they can take gas at a higher pressure,” he said.

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