Yoxford: Controversial road closure lifted

AN unpopular road closure in a rural Suffolk village has been lifted ahead of schedule, to the relief of residents and business owners.

Anglian Water last night removed diversions set up at either end of the A1120 in Yoxford for emergency sewer repair work scheduled to take five weeks and finish next Friday.

The road between Strickland Manor Hill and The Lane has now reopened with temporary traffic lights replacing diversions.

Several business owners from Yoxford, and neighbouring Peasenhall and Badingham, had vented frustration at the utilities company after the discovery of a collapsed sewer lead to the road being closed to through traffic during one of the busiest tourist periods of the year.

This week, Susie Reader, landlady at The White Horse, in Badingham, reported a steady decline in trade since diversions were put in place. Her concerns echoed complaints from Carl Bennett, of the Yoxford Food Company, who earlier this month described the village as being “in a state of limbo” since work began.

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Anglian Water has maintained that the collapsed sewer required urgent repair to prevent risk to road users or the local environment. Spokesman, Antony Innes said: “Engineers have been pushing to complete the emergency sewer repair work ahead of schedule.

“During the road closure we have also been able to carry out more of this planned work in the local area so that we are now on schedule to finish all work in a couple of week’s time.

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“We know that work of this nature is not ideal, particularly at this time of year, and has caused concern amongst local businesses. Throughout the work we have tried to keep people up to date with progress and will continue to work with them to discuss any compensation claims.”

Local MP Therese Coffey visited businesses last weekend, taking concerns to Suffolk County Council’s highways department, which had been responsible for the diversions directing traffic from the A1120 at Badingham on to the B1120 towards Framlingham, before joining the B1119 and reconnecting with the A12 at Saxmundham.

Dr Coffey, who has also notified businesses reliant on passing trade of their eligibilty to claim temporary rate relief, said: “I fully understand the impact on businesses as a result of the road closure and share their frustration. I have been back and forth with Anglian Water and Suffolk County Council urging them to get the road open as quickly as possible and am pleased that the road should re-open today.

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