How badly have businesses been hit by closure of busy road?
PUBLISHED: 06:00 27 July 2019
The closure of a busy road has left business owners feeling “powerless” due to a “worrying” lack of passing trade.
But others say they have barely been affected as a result of the roadworks on Wellington Road, in Dereham, which began on Wednesday, July 24.
Work to resurface pavements along the street - shut to traffic between Theatre Street and Cowper Road - is scheduled to last for four weeks until August 21.
As motorists and bus drivers are forced to take alternative routes, signs have been put up to inform shoppers that businesses are operating as usual.
Many traders are, however, unhappy with the situation and say there has already been a distinct impact.
Claire Crummett, who runs Bright and Beautiful Flowers, said: "I have regulars who will pop in for a bunch of flowers or a potted plant as a present, but I'm not getting those people.
"Sales have really gone down. It could be partly due to the weather because it's so hot and fresh things obviously don't last long, but passing trade has definitely suffered.
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"In fairness to the council they did tell us a couple of months ago, so it was quite far in advance, but what can I do about it? The work's got to be done so you're left powerless."
Norfolk County Council say the closure is "necessary" and "essential to ensure the works are conducted in a safe and efficient manner".
Wendy Barker, whose dog-grooming business Shampooches lies on the opposite side of the road, said the disruption had not been a major issue.
"It hasn't affected us," she added. "We've managed to get to and from the shop easily enough.
"Every time we've wanted to gain access the workers have been kind enough to accommodate us, but we've asked customers to use the Cherry Tree car park.
"They told us weeks in advance the work needed to be done and they would do it quickly and efficiently. The length of time is maybe a excessive but all roadworks are."
Angela Lane, who runs Through the Looking Glass Interiors towards the east end of the road, says the lack of passing trade has been evident.
"It's been noticeable because you're not getting people dropping in," she said. "I can honestly say the only people coming in have specifically planned to do so.
"It does worry me. I'm just making the best of it, trying to boost my online presence because it's so quiet."