Watch: Norwich landlord cannot access his pub due to road works
PUBLISHED: 09:45 18 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:58 18 March 2016
Copyright: Archant 2016
Parts of the city are a “no-go zone” in the evening because of road closures, a leading pub landlord said today.
Philip Cutter from The Murderers on Timber Hill said trade had plummeted because it was unreachable by road for long periods.
Nearby businesses reported a similar drop in trade - and they rounded on those behind the road scheme, saying they did not know “what road closures tomorrow would bring”.
Norfolk County Council admitted the road works are disruptive but said there was wide spread publicity of the road closures beforehand.
Mr Cutter has demonstrated the problem in a YouTube video, filmed with a dashboard camera, which shows him driving around Norwich, trying to find a route to the pub.
He said the situation was “beyond a joke”.
“In the evening we have seen a massive drop in trade and it is really frustrating as we did not know about what was going to happen,” he said. “They have effectively made the city a no-go zone in the evening and I pay thousands of pounds in business rates and at the moment I am getting nothing out of it.”
Roads in the city centre including Cattle Market Street, Golden Ball Street and Rouen Road have been closed overnight from 7pm since Monday as Norfolk County Council carries out resurfacing and lining work as part of the Transport for Norwich scheme.
Mr Cutter said he understood that roadworks need to be carried out but believed it could have been made easier for businesses. “I know work has got to be done but it seems that it has all gone through really quickly with no regard to how it may affect businesses in the city,” he said.
Kestral Taxis on Ber Street said it had not had any walk-in customers this week, while Richard Sparrow of The Woolpack pub on Golden Ball Street said they had been much quieter than usual.
“There has been a notable different to the amount of customers we have seen in the pub this week and during some evenings we have only served a handful of people,” he said. “The issue with the works is that you don’t know what road closures tomorrow is going to bring.”
Businesses were critical of the communication from Norfolk County Council. Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich Business Improvement District, said it was something he was trying to address.
“The biggest issue is around communications with businesses as it appears road closures are changing everyday and the council needs to inform them as it is their livelihoods we are talking about,” he said.
A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said there was widespread publicity for the work but admitted that they should have contacted businesses.
“Although there was signage in place and leafleting of the firms along the route beforehand, we do recognise in hindsight we should have contacted businesses on nearby Timber Hill and would apologise for any inconvenience caused.” They added; “Access to Timber Hill has been maintained throughout the works and we have put in extra signs to help make it clearer access is via Ber Street during the five nights of overnight closures which finishes tonight.”
■ Are you being badly affected by the roadworks in Norwich city centre? Email email@example.com