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Norwich pub fears it could close after months of roadworks agony

PUBLISHED: 16:20 28 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 29 January 2019

Darren Fennah, owner of the Last Pub Standing, who says roadworks have cost the pub thousands. Picture: Archant

Darren Fennah, owner of the Last Pub Standing, who says roadworks have cost the pub thousands. Picture: Archant

Archant

The only remaining pub in a city road has been left fearing for its future, after being cased in by roadworks.

The Last Pub Standing in Norwich, when it was cased in by roadworks. Picture: Darren FennahThe Last Pub Standing in Norwich, when it was cased in by roadworks. Picture: Darren Fennah

The Last Pub Standing, on Upper King Street in Norwich, is one of the city’s most literally named pubs, with its name paying tribute to the fact it is the final pub on a stretch of road which once had many.

However, owner Darren Fennah is now fearing for its future, after its winter trade was blighted by roadworks - a spell he says cost him in the region of £40,000.

Upper King Street was closed to traffic at the end of October, as part of the £2.75m traffic shake-up of the Prince of Wales Road area, with contractors working on it ever since.

Mr Fennah, who re-opened the pub in November 2017, said: “We still had parties over Christmas but we lost almost all of our walk-in trade - people just did not realise we were still open.

Darren Fennah, owner of the Last Pub Standing. Picture: ArchantDarren Fennah, owner of the Last Pub Standing. Picture: Archant

“To begin with, we were almost completely fenced in, although the contractors did do their best to help us.”

Mr Fennah said as a result he had been forced to lose casual staff and had been offered little by way of support from the city council or Transport for Norwich.

He added; “Whenever I have made the situation known, I have been told it will all be better in the future, but that doesn’t help us in the here and now - we may not even be here by the time the works are done.

“All we can do is get the message out that we are still here, we are still open and we need all the support we can get.”

The sign at the Last Pub Standing, newly opened in King Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe sign at the Last Pub Standing, newly opened in King Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A spokesperson for Transport for Norwich said: “Our project team met businesses in the King Street area before construction started to explain the proposals and likely impact of work. As with all our schemes, everyone affected was also sent an information notice as the start date approached, with details of traffic management and access arrangements.

“Throughout work, the site team has maintained access to properties and kept premises informed of progress. Signs have also been used around the area to help make people aware that businesses are open as usual.

“We understand disruption of any kind is frustrating and appreciate the patience and cooperation of everyone in the area. Since completion of the pedestrianisation of King Street, feedback suggests that footfall has increased, with some businesses expressing an interest in licences for outdoor seating, mirroring the benefits seen in the Westlegate area.”

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