Business owners frustrated by Oulton Broad gas works
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Disgruntled business owners have expressed their dismay over a major project to replace gas mains in Oulton Broad.
Roadworks got under way yesterday on Bridge Road with a temporary one way system with the northbound lane closed.
After just one day, some businesses have already seen a significant reduction in income.
The works are expected to last until Easter.
Paul Washbourne, the owner of Crispies Sandwich Bar said he lost around 70pc of business to normal yesterday.
He said: 'Simply put we don't have any customers, the place is dead. It is going to be like this for six weeks – I might have to close the place down while this continues.
'I also have deliveries to make, which with the diversions in place is incredibly frustrating.
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'I can understand why they are taking place, but I don't think enough warning time was given and I still need to hear about what is happening with compensation on lost income.'
The works will see the gas mains replaced between the Shell service station in Normanston Drive, passing by Oulton Broad North railway station, to Oulton Broad library in Bridge Road.
National Grid have said the existing metal gas mains are nearing the end of their operational life and must be replaced to ensure people have access to safe and reliable gas supplies.
Leah Colman who for Flowers by Sarah Jane, said: 'When you are in our position where we are losing out on trade, on income, and this also could mean we lose out on pay.'
Many business owners said that traffic down the road has been flowing smoothly, but it has affected visitor numbers.
Ann Sexton, who runs Flowers by Sarah Jane said that on Monday they took £170, about £400 less than normal.
She said: 'We just want people to know that businesses on Bridge Road are still open and that there are lay-bys on the road also open.
To alleviate traffic congestion, two northbound lanes are to be kept open on the Bascule Bridge in Lowestoft between 6am and 8pm.
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What other business owners said
Alison Edwards, of children's play centre, Dinky Town said: 'It is definitely quieter but it is still early days and for us we've just come off the busy half term.
'Hopefully it won't affect us too much in the coming weeks but we are a new business in the area and I hope people can support us through this time.'
Pavan Namasiviyan of Premier Store said: 'Our customers are usually 50pc locals and 50pc those driving by.
'I think the numbers of those driving by will be affected as they might take alternative routes.'
Laurence Dyer of Hair by Laurence said: 'It is an absolute nightmare for us and I really feel sorry for some of the other businesses on the road.
'We expect business will suffer for the next six weeks in particular as motorists will have to park elsewhere at one they will have to pay to use.'