Closed road ‘causing 50 per cent fall in business’

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Business owners in a Sudbury road closed due to electrical works say takings have fallen by as much as 50 per cent.

UK Power Networks’ £200,000 project involves the removal of 14 poles and burying of 600 metres of cabling in Church Street and means that Friars Street is closed to traffic for six weeks.

Alan Devereux, owner of A and G News in Friars Street, said: “Friars Street is totally closed off and it is taking its toll on our takings.

“To have six weeks where takings are down by up to 50 per cent is unacceptable.”

Mr Devereux, who took over the shop in 1994, said affected retailers should be given compensation and workmen could work longer hours to get the work done.

Vanessa Bremner, Health Foods For You owner, said: “It has made a massive difference. Six weeks is too long for the people down here trying to make a living.

“We opened about a year ago and for us, as a new business, it is far from ideal.”

Lee Bodfield, UK Power Networks project manager, said the project had been planned with the involvement of residents, the district and county councils.

“We will look to review our working hours and continue to do everything we can to complete these improvements as quickly as possible and to minimise any disruption caused,” he said.

“We are sorry to hear some customers are concerned about trade. In line with the industry, compensation is not payable during planned network improvements which are carried out in consultation with the local authorities.”

Mr Bodfield said traffic flows and road sign use would continue to be monitored.