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Road closure ruining trade at Malmesbury
An historic pub near Malmesbury is struggling to survive as road closures drive business away.
Jamie Denman, who runs The Vale of the White Horse Inn, Minety, said the pub’s future looks bleak with a ten-week planned road closure outside sending passing trade in the opposite direction.
Mr Denman believes the work on the B4040 to resurface the carriageway has damaged the 150-year-old pub since it began in September, with plaster falling off the walls as drilling causes the building to shake.
“It has cost us about £6,000 in lost sales and it’s getting worse,” he said.
“The longer it goes on the more of an impact it has.
“Customers from the east, from Ashton Keynes and Cricklade, are making the effort to go round but it is a six-mile diversion, so that’s a 12-mile round trip just to go for a drink.”
The B4040 roadworks for the reconstruction and resurfacing of the carriageway is being carried out by Wiltshire Council Highways.
Mr Denman estimates that £100,000-a-year is spent before the first pint is served as the large building is expensive to maintain.
Mr Denman said: “We have still got our regular drinkers but we have lost 25 per cent of our trade and it is getting worse.
“I can see the sales falling off and falling off the longer all of this goes on.
“My main concern is that this is the third time they have closed the road in the 11 years we have been here.”
Mr Denman believes the road, which is built on clay, is structurally insecure and rather than re-laying the road, he feels taxpayers’ money would be better spent rebuilding it properly or redirecting lorries. He said: “The road was used by horse and carriages but now we have 40-tonne trucks coming down it.”
A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “These essential works, due to finish on November 9, are necessary to keep the road in a safe condition.We are aware of concerns regarding damage caused by the roadworks and our contractor is looking into this matter.
“It has been necessary to close this road to through traffic for the safety of those working on the road and the travelling public, although access is still available to adjacent properties.”
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