‘We’re having a difficult time as it is’ - Fears EIGHT weeks of roadworks will cut village in half
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
Businesses have appealed for support ahead of eight weeks of roadworks which will effectively cut a Norfolk village in half.
Drainage improvement works scheduled to begin in Thorpe End next month will see a section of Plumstead Road - the main road through the garden village - closed for almost two months.
Fears have now been raised the works will in effect cut the village in half - with businesses on a parade running alongside the road preparing themselves for the impact.
The same stretch of road was closed during construction of the Northern Distributor Road - now known as the Broadland Northway - and traders are fearing a case of deja vu when the work gets under way.
While access to the parade of businesses will be maintained at the Broadland Drive end, those approaching from the city will be diverted onto the £205m road.
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Pippa Hyde, who runs Tea, Bags and Shoes, said: "We had issues when the NDR was being built and definitely experienced a downturn in trade.
"We have our loyal regulars, some of who made more visits to support us, but it is the loss of passing trade that is concerning.
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"I appreciate the works need to be done and if the road has to close then that's the way it is, but it is not really ideal, so small businesses like us need all the support we can get."
Chris Smith, manager of AGA furniture, added: "We're having a difficult time as it is - shops either side of us have closed so that hasn't helped our footfall, so it has not come at a great time."
Meanwhile, the Thorpe End Clinic - an osteopathy clinic on the parade, has concerns about patients missing appointments as a result of the closure.
Lynn Carter, of the clinic, said: "Our main concern is we take quite a few patients who are referred to us from around the county that may not be familiar with the area will find it tougher to locate us."
Each business has been written to by the county council, notifying them works will begin on or around July 17, with two-way traffic lights used for the first two weeks, followed by a six week road closure.
Details of the scheme
The £70,000 scheme is scheduled to begin on Monday July 15, continuing for eight weeks.
For the first two weeks, two way traffic lights will be put in place while works are carried out on the southern green area.
From Tuesday July 25 - the beginning of the school holidays - the stretch of the road will be completely closed while a new carrier drain is installed in the carriageway.
A temporary bus stop will be provided close to the junction of Green Lane North and Plumstead Road, to allow the local Konectbus service to continue.
Traffic will be diverted down Woodside Road, Salhouse Road and the NDR.
'Business open as usual' signs will be provided while the road is closed and works have been programmed to minimise disruption to businesses and villagers - a County Hall spokesman said.
The scheme is scheduled to be completed on Monday September 2.