Elveden Estate says business has been hit by A11 re-routing as signs are refused

The A11 Elveden bypass which is now open. Picture: Denise Bradley The A11 Elveden bypass which is now open. Picture: Denise Bradley

Saturday, July 5, 2014
8:06 AM

An estate at the heart of the A11 dualling project has said the road’s re-routing has triggered a “severe downturn” in visitor numbers after a request for signage was refused.

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Elveden Estate has said that, since the Elveden Bypass has opened, re-routed customers have either become confused as to how to get to its courtyard, pub and post office businesses or totally oblivious to their existence.

Frances Armstrong, marketing manager for the estate, said that although it was broadly behind the dualling project, a decision by the Highways Agency to refuse its request for signage had left them “highly disappointed”.

“Under the new road layout we knew that customers would not be passing our doors anymore and would have to turn off the A11 a short distance to find us. In anticipation of this, we applied to the Highways Agency for brown tourist signs. We are highly disappointed that this application was refused.”

“It is in fact much easier and quicker to get to us now – the route from Bury St Edmunds and Brandon is unchanged and there are no more “Elveden crossroads” creating queues.

“However, we have benefitted enormously from passing trade in the past and this has now virtually ceased. People are simply not aware of the facilities that are available at the Elveden A11 junction as there is no sign for them.”

The estate was a major player in the dualling project as it owned 80 acres of the land through which the 9.1 mile stretch of road runs.

In 2008, Lady Iveagh - whose husband Lord Iveagh owns the estate - said the estate was fully behind the plans. She told the EDP at the time that the estate would “deal with it” if the dualling took away trade, as it would make it “safer and more convenient to travel along the A11”.

The Highways Agency informed the estate of their decision to refuse the installation of two brown tourist signs in February.

Geoff Chatfield, project manager, told the estate in a letter that the signs had been refused to minimise “driver information overload” caused by too many signs and because there was already signage to Elveden.

With no appeal process allowed, the Estate is planning to introduce its own signage in fields and across bridges on the A11 to ensure people can find it, according to Ms Armstrong.

Do you think the estate has a case? Let us know by emailing Andrew Fitchett on andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

14 comments

  • ... or even `hordes` ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

  • Good idea, ingo. A Blimp in the shape of a giant scone. That`ll have the hungry hoards beating a path to Lord Iveagh`s Fiefdom. His Lordship should lobby to host the next Eurovision Scone Contest, too. PS. I like your new, shortened, monicker! I wonder if the Highway Agency is run by a latter day Colonel Blimp? Or just a plain old Hot-air Balloon?

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

  • I've driven through there hundreds of times and whatever is beyond the entrance gates is of no interest to me, even 'free coffee' signs wouldn't have tempted me to stop. Those interested will still visit and benefit from less traffic.

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    Skoalbandit

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

  • Oh how my heart bleeds for poor Lord Iveagh. The same man who stood in the way of the road being signed off by the Transport Secretary in March 2010, which would now have been open for over 2 years.

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    Tom Jeffries

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

  • The estate is well known for its activities and farm shop, signs would not pursuade travellers to stop there any more, the village has been bypassed. This is what will happen to Long Stratton and unless businesses find ways of re-locating to these bypasses they will be disadvantaged by these massive conomic improvements always promised from these sort of road schemes. why not raise a Blimp or two and advertise at about 150 feet in the air, because the Highway agency, wishing itself to be privatised, god beware, is a law on to itself, a Leviathan.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

  • Since when has Elveden been a tourist attraction.

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    gerry mitson

    Sunday, July 6, 2014

  • Greenmanwalking & Caroline Jacobs - you miss the pint I am making. Not having a go at Elveden Estate - merely Archant we give up so much space for an article that basically reads "We asked for signs, they said no, so we will make our own" ... hardly newsworthy

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    Lucioperca

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • A local business which employs local people, in an area of relatively high unemployment, wants to put up two approved signs to direct customers and is declined. So now said business will have to resort to putting a number of large signs in fields on a set of old wheels. Wake up Highways Agency - I for one would rather see neat signage than the plethora of what looks like abandoned vehicles parked in fields. I also understand the signage does not come cheap - someone I know was quoted around £5k to make and erect a sign - and that was about 15 years ago. Madness.

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    CostesseyViking

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • Lucioperca,The Elveden Estate could of just put up signs on wheels all beside the new road which is totally legal but instead they wanted to get the proper brown tourist signs put up. Also it doesn't matter how much compensation he company has received or will receive the point is it could have been a small independent business which could be forced to close due to lack of trade.

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    greenmanwalking

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • Crazy small minded decision! Driver information overload? Have the Highways Agency staff never driven along a busy urban motorway like the M25? What planet are they on.

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    JSmith

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • Why is it a 'non-story' Luciopercia. Elveden village is benefiting from a long overdue bypass and whilst the estate was compensated does that mean that their business should be denied signage directing people to the courtyard restaurant and shops? It employs many local people and if the business fails they will end up unemployed. Surely erecting signs would be a minor cost in comparison to the overall cost of the bypass works.

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    caroline jacobs

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • A typical, heavy-handed Norfolk approach to something that should just be a run of the mill 'yes' decision to help businesses in the local economy. No wonder people think we're backwards looking up here, what difference would another sign make to that pictured junction, none at all in my opinion.

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    RV2008

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • Whilst I would not entirely disagree with the previous post, the response from the Highways Agency sounds like some jobsworth trying to show them whose boss. Not much indication of information overload in the photo is there? Time the HW put their efforts into genuine overload situations and misleading signage, much in evidence elsewhere!

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    andy

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • What a non-story. The Elveden Estate would have been heavily compensated for the land lost to this bypass, so a dip in minor trade will already been offset. Another archant article that takes hundreds of words to basically say "highways agency refuse to put up signs so we are going to make our own" end of non-story!!

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    Lucioperca

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

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