Road works spark fears for pub trade

Landlords Margaret and Keith Green

Landlords Margaret and Keith Green

First published in News

Pub landlord Keith Green is concerned he could lose trade when six weeks of road works in Worton get under way.

The work to resurface the High Street will be done in two phases – a two-week period where repairs will be carried out during the day, with temporary traffic lights starting on Monday, followed by night time work involving closure of the High Street for four weeks starting on July 29.

The night time work will take place between 7pm and midnight. Wiltshire Council contractor Atkins said it was necessary to close the road to ensure adequate health and safety is maintained for local residents and its workers.

The diversion route will be north west on the C20 to Bell Hill, Seend, east on the A361 to Devizes, south of the A360 to the Black Dog crossroads and back on to the C20.

Mr Green, who with his wife, Margaret, has run the Rose and Crown pub in Worton High Street for two years, said: “The road is a bypass around Devizes and I do have concerns we are going to lose trade. On Sunday we had some people from Germany and Holland in for lunch.

“We do have passing trade and it does worry me that a road closure sign will put people off. The time of the night time work is during the school holidays. I don’t know what the solution is, because the work to the road has got to be done.”

Roger Wilshire, chairman of Worton Parish Council, said: “The road is really bad, it is breaking up and everyone realises that. The village is a rat run so, with a bit of luck, the work may stop some of that.

“Unfortunately it may affect the pub, if people can’t get through the village.”

In a letter to residents advising of the work, Daniel Ward, senior technician at Atkins, says: “During the works period, access to enable residents to enter and egress from their properties may temporarily be restricted due to site operations.

“The contractor will endeavour to minimise the delay, although due to the nature of the works minor disruption is inevitable.

“It is essential that the road remains un-trafficked until the new material has set as early trafficking could lead to premature failure.

“Dedicated traffic management operatives at the extent of the works will monitor access and give motorists assistance.

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience these works will cause, but trust you will appreciate the necessity for these essential works to maintain Wiltshire’s highway network.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Council said the resurfacing had to be done when the road was closed and doing it at night was less disruptive to motorists.

He said signs would be placed at either end of the diversion to say the pub and other businesses were open as normal.

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