Work could cost people their livelihoods, says Sudbury retailer

A RETAILER has estimated that it could cost shops and businesses more than a quarter of a million pounds in lost revenue because of Sudbury town centre roadworks taking place over the coming weeks. He says it could equate to a shop closure or a bankruptancy and job losses.

David Holland, who runs Curtain Craft in Kings Street, says he wonders if Sudbury is “sleepwalking into retail meltdown” with plans to build a raised pedestrian crossing near his shop.

He has been campaigning for the postponement of the work with more consultation to see if it is necessary to spend £40,000 on a new crossing for the town.

He said: “Sudbury is an interesting town retail wise. It serves around 90,000 people in its catchment area with only 20,000 of them living in Sudbury and Cornard. So most of Sudbury’s shoppers live in the surrounding area.

“Significant upheaval of parking and roads may not dissuade those who could bus, walk or bicycle in from coming into town but many of those travelling in from outlying parts might well think twice, decide to avoid the disruption and shop elsewhere.

“If just one in ten of those who normally travel to Sudbury to shop from the outlying villages would vote with their feet and shop elsewhere it would cost the retail economy over £300,000. Retail turnover supports jobs and you need perhaps £100,000 of turnover to support one job so this level of impact would probably cost two or three people their livelihood.”