Road closure fears for businesses

Businesses in a seaside village fear a loss in trade when a section of a popular coast road closes for resurfacing on Monday.

Businesses in a seaside village fear a loss in trade when a section of a popular coast road closes for resurfacing on Monday.

Drivers using the A149 between Sheringham and Blakeney will be diverted inland via Holt, while road gangs work on a 1,200-metre stretch at Weybourne for three weeks.

The village pub and shop, which rely on passing trade, fear a slump in trade but are not entitled to compensation during routine maintenance.

The £174,500 project - which stretches from the Muckleburgh military museum to the village cemetery - will be the second time the road has been closed in two years.

Ship publican Wendy Williams said: “We lost a lot of money when the road was shut for six weeks two winters ago for drainage improvements. We are not too pleased it is happening again. We will soldier on, but the place will become a ghost village, and we still have to pay staff wages.”

Village stores owner Valerie Plowman - who took over the shop with husband Derek 18 months ago - said access to businesses and homes would be maintained and she was trying to let locals and regulars know they could still get through.

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But they were likely to lose passing trade from people visiting the coast, and commercial trucks whose drivers stopped for drinks and cigarettes.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said businesses could not claim compensation for losses during routine maintenance but there might be scope for claims under the Land Compensation Act if they were affected by noise.