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Businesses share concerns about road closures in Thetford town centre

PUBLISHED: 11:32 17 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:32 17 January 2017

The junction of White Hart Street, King Street and Bridge Street in Thetford, where roadworks will be taking place. Picture by Bethany Whymark

The junction of White Hart Street, King Street and Bridge Street in Thetford, where roadworks will be taking place. Picture by Bethany Whymark

Archant

Businesses in a town centre are facing a tough period next month as resurfacing works shut their main access road.

Highways engineers will be carrying out the work on King Street, Bridge Street and White Hart Street in Thetford from Sunday, February 12 to Wednesday, February 15.

During the daytime works traffic will be severely disrupted, prompting concerns for business owners in the area.

Gez Chetal, manager of the Thomas Paine Hotel in White Hart Street, said: “I am going to have to open my gate onto London Road, and the reason that has been closed for three years is because everybody uses it as a thoroughfare.

“I have been campaigning for three and a half years to get White Hart Street opened up but nothing has happened. I hope this will bring a bit more momentum back to that because if it were open, the road closure would not be a problem.”

Roy Brame, who owns Cobra Domestic Appliances in King Street, conceded that the works needed to be done.

“As a business it is the last thing you want, but the state of the road is so bad it is not going to be long before there is a serious accident there.

“White Hart Street comes alive at night with the restaurants and things, so the impact will depend on how well the workmen clear up after themselves.”

Town councillor Mr Brame also got behind the effort to have White Hart Street and London Road connected.

“Our biggest problem here is trying to get around the town. I have been fighting with Gez about it but as soon as we started talking to the county council they did not seem to be interested.”

A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said the work had been timed to coincide with the schools’ February half term to minimise traffic disruption and businesses on the roads had been contacted about the upcoming work.

He added that the roadworks will be mobile to enable some access during the four-day period. “Access will still be in place for people who live and work there.”

The works will take place from 7.30am to 5pm on February 12 and from 9am to 4pm on February 13, 14 and 15.

A temporary diversion will be in place via Bury Road and Old Bury Road (to reach Bridge Street), or via St Nicholas Street and Minstergate (to reach White Hart Street and King Street). However, due to width restrictions Minstergate will not be open to heavy goods vehicles.

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