Businesses affected after part of the A1075 in Shipdham, near Dereham, is closed

Businesses in one of mid Norfolk's largest villages have seen a drop in trade after a section of road was closed for the last two days.

Part of the A1075 - Chapel Street in Shipdham, between Watton and Dereham - was blocked off yesterday so work could be carried out by National Grid.

A spokesman from the company said that a team was performing a 'domestic connection' - where a house was being connected to the gas main in the middle of the road.

The A1075 is the main road from Watton and Dereham and part of Chapel Street is inaccessible for motorists between the Central Stores and Post Office and Shipdham Stores.

Signs warning drivers about the closure have been put up at the Rash's Green Industrial Estate, in Toftwood, Dereham, and on the crossroads in Watton, near Tesco supermarket.

Motorists are being diverted via the A47 from Dereham and through Swaffham and Watton, but there is also a diversion along Mill Road and Pound Green Lane, which rejoins the A1075 in Shipdham.

Rita Pointon, part owner of Central Stores and Post Office, said she was not told about the work before it started, which was 'disgraceful'.

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'There has been a lot of disruption because a good 50pc of our trade is passing traffic and there is not a lot of traffic passing,' she added.

Claire Willis, shop assistant at Shipdham stores, said the business had lost a lot of its passing trade and the only customers were villagers on foot.

She added that staff were told about the work last week.

Stevan Paul, leaseholder of the Golden Dog pub, in the High Street, said he was concerned that the closure would affect his takings as 75pc of his business came from people who drive past.

He added that he was 'shocked' when he saw the barriers in the road on yesterday morning as he was not told about the work.

But Steve Royal, operations manager of Dereham-based Konnectbus, said the number 11, which travels hourly from Watton to Dereham through Shipdham had not been affected and the roads were clearer because of the blockage.

The bus stop, outside the Central Stores and Post Office, has been temporarily moved to Pound Green Lane and the buses are rejoining the A1075 further along Chapel Street.

The National Grid spokesman added that it is expected work will be completed tomorrow and 250 letters informing people about the work were dropped off at properties in the Chapel Street area.

Business owners have said that the road will be blocked until this Friday.

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