Businesses frustrated over little warning for five weeks of roadworks
- Credit: Daniel Moxon
Business owners are worried trade will be hit due to poor communication from the local authority over five weeks of roadworks set to begin next week.
From Tuesday, May 4, a short stretch of Fairland Street in Wymondham will be closed for around six weeks for drainage works.
A very small diversion will be in place, with the one-way system on Fairland Hill reversed to allow cars to bypass the works and drive onto Market Street.
But Michelle Fernandes, who owns Wardrobes of Wymondham, said the signage is not clear and could put off customers.
She said: "The signs are not at all clear, because people are just going to see 'road closed' and not bother coming into Wymondham – even though it's just a small diversion.
"People won't read all the small print, they'll just go elsewhere as soon as they see it's closed."
She added she had received "no notification at all" from Norfolk County Council about the work until just three working days before the works begin.
A spokesperson for the council told this newspaper on Wednesday morning: "When planning this scheme we were in contact with the businesses which are within the extent of the closure back in March."
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But many of the businesses there, including Yum Yums Sweet Shops – situated right in the middle of the works – say they only received a letter from the council on Wednesday which was dated Monday, April 26.
Jackie Flatt said: "Why are they doing it after we've just reopened? We've only been open for three weeks after being shut for four and a half months. If they knew it needed doing, why are they only doing it now?"
And Julie Bradford from Myhills Pet and Garden next door added: "It was closed for weeks in January, and then they're closing it again now. Why couldn't they link it all together?"
A spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said on Friday: "A temporary closure of Fairland Street, between Avenue Road and Fairland Hill, will begin next week for drainage works.
"In March, we contacted businesses which are within the extent of the closure to make them aware of our planned works."
Konectbus confirmed its Route 6 buses would not serve the bus stops at Market Place while the works are ongoing.