Shops braced to lose out when roadworks shut A370

PUBLISHED: 13:01 30 September 2011

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Archant

BUSINESSES are resigned to losing thousands of pounds in trade when roadworks shut the A370 next week.

Overnight resurfacing work on Station Road and Bristol Road between the Old School Rooms in Congresbury and the Smallway junction is set to begin on Monday and last for 10 days.

Once the work is completed builders will move through Congresbury resurfacing High Street and Brinsea Road. The work is expected to last four weeks in total and cost £250,000.

During the past fortnight repairs have been made to pavements and drainage in the area and three-way temporary traffic lights have been installed at the junction with High Street, creating long delays.

The decision to close the road and carry out the maintenance between 7pm-6am will cause problems for a number of businesses who open irregular hours.

Mathan Parram, manager of Morgans Convenience and Grocery store, fears losing passing trade and said the tailbacks created by the temporary traffic lights had already cost him nearly £200 a day in lost business.

He said: “I’m worried that my early morning deliveries and customers won’t get through.

“One lady said it had taken her 45 minutes to get from Cadbury Hotel and said she wouldn’t be coming back for two weeks. You can’t blame her.”

He said newspaper and bread deliveries arrive in the early hours and admitted he did not know how he was going to receive them once the road is closed. And he was critical of North Somerset Council for not doing more of the work at weekends when traffic is reduced.

He said: “They finished Friday afternoon but left out all the cones on Saturday and Sunday when no work took place meaning they had to come back Monday.

“It would make more sense to do it on a weekend when people do not have to go out rather than when they need to go to work.”

Garry Polledri, owner of the Plough Inn in Brinsea Road said the work was inconvenient but admitted it had to be done.

He said: “Trade has definitely dropped off in the last week because people have been fed up getting stuck in traffic which you can’t blame them for.

“We are worried but we will have to wait and see. I’m sure it is going to make a big difference.

“There’s no point dwelling on it. We are going to struggle because there are going to be people who aren’t going to come here.

“It’s not brilliant and it’s not ideal but the road surface is bad and it has to be done.”

Nearby villages are being warned to expect extra traffic diverted to avoid the A370 and electronic signs are already in place warning motorists of the upcoming work.

Roads in Claverham and Yatton will have their maximum weight limits suspended at night to allow lorries easier access. Whilst the road is being resurfaced the council is also taking the opportunity to upgrade the traffic lights at the two junctions on the A370 to make them more environmentally friendly.

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