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Fears over Bradwell road closure

PUBLISHED: 16:46 22 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:57 16 September 2010

PLANS to close a section of road in Bradwell, just to repair a 130m stretch of pavement, have angered village traders who say their businesses will be badly hit.

PLANS to close a section of road in Bradwell, just to repair a 130m stretch of pavement, have angered village traders who say their businesses will be badly hit.

Andrew Edmonds, 49, who has recently spent £180,000 on the expansion of his award-winning Bradwell Butchery in Crab Lane, warned the proposal could cut his trade by 25pc and force him to lay people off.

He said his initial reaction was disbelief when he received a letter from Norfolk County Council in June informing him of its intention to close Crab Lane to traffic at its Beccles Road junction for pavement repairs.

And his incredulity grew when he read that the scheme outside his shop and the neighbouring Mini Mart could take six to seven weeks.

Mr Edmonds said: “The council has said they will put up diversion signs, but it will mean motorists having to make a lengthy diversion to approach us from the Gorleston direction.”

He said the typical reaction of his customers to the work, scheduled to begin next month, was that it was crazy it could take so long. And no-one could understand why one lane could not be kept open at all times.

Mr Edmonds said: “I have invested £180,000 expanding the business to include a bakery, and taken on six extra members of staff.

“We have doubled the number of our customers a week in the past year, but I am worried we could lose those people dropping by each day to to pick up their bread or made-up rolls for work - and if they stop coming to us during the work they might not come back.”

Mr Edmonds, who is being supported by Bradwell Parish Council, said another local trader had told him similar roadworks had cost him 25pc of his business - if a loss of business on that scale happened he might be forced to lay off staff.

Mini Mart owner Ghulam Dastgir said: “We are concerned we will lose customers who can't walk far, and our newspaper trade could be badly hit.”

Norfolk county highways manager Nigel Seago said closing Crab Lane at its Beccles Road junction during the first phase of footpath work was necessary as using temporary traffic lights would have brought a number of risks.

“Given that we will be using diggers and other large construction vehicles it was not possible to provide a safe working area and leave enough width for pedestrians and traffic to pass safely,” he said.

He said access to every property and business would be maintained at all times, and it was now hoped that the road would need to be closed for a shorter period than six weeks, with temporary traffic lights being used as the footpath on further sections of Crab Lane was repaired.

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