Traders’ fury as Sheringham braced for flurry of road closures
- Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC
A storm is brewing over a raft of road closures that Sheringham traders fear could put off visitors as the crucial tourist season gets underway.
Much of the anger is focused on Norfolk County Council work to put in three new pedestrian crossings in the town centre, which business leaders said were 'not necessary'.
The first will be built at Station Approach, with the road closed for five days from March 18, while the other two will see Station Road then Church Street closed back-to-back for five days each from April 15.
Meanwhile, pavement and road work to provide access to the new Tesco store on Cromer Road will be carried out at the end of May, with the firm pledging to get it out of the way by the Spring Bank Holiday on May 27.
There will also be two days of resurfacing of Holway Road at the junction of Cooper Road, with the work planned for April 11 and 12 to ensure that it does not clash with term time at the nearby Sheringham Primary School.
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A Norfolk County Council spokesman said it was hoped that the work would 'avoid the summer if at all possible'.
But, following a chamber of trade meeting on Monday evening, secretary Andy Bullen said traders were not happy.
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He said: 'First of all, our members are confused, because the county council has sent out two different letters showing the work at different times and in different places.
'They're also saying that it is not necessary. The crossings would make no improvements but could cause more accidents.'
Mr Bullen said a similar crossing near the Jolly Tar restaurant had been the site of a number of accidents since being installed, with some pedestrians apparently thinking they had right of way to cross Station Road.
He added: 'The members think the money would be better spent on repairing potholes. And the town doesn't want the work done at this time of the year. Why couldn't it have been done in November?'
County council spokesman John Birchall said: 'We recognise that there is a lot going on in the town over the next few weeks, including work by utility companies as well as work on the highways.
'Although this will be a difficult few weeks, the aim is to have the town as clear as possible for the summer season. The county council is also insisting that the Easter holiday is kept clear.
'We are sorry for the inevitable disruption, but hope that people recognise that if work has to be done, it should avoid the summer if at all possible.'