Beck Row villagers’ anger over road closure

Beck Row business owners and parish councillors are angry at the way roadworks have been carried out.  Picture Mark Westley ANL-150923-113213009
Beck Row business owners and parish councillors are angry at the way roadworks have been carried out. Picture Mark Westley ANL-150923-113213009

A major homes builder has been criticised after its sewer work hit businesses and suddenly closed a bus route.

Business people and parish councillors in Beck Row say work on Persimmon Homes’ 165-home estate in Holmsey Green was already causing inconvenience and hitting trade of shops opposite the site before an emergency road closure on Monday because of problems with sewer works.

Suffolk County Council closed the road after the roadworks left too little space for large vehicles to pass safely.  'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150923-113235009

Suffolk County Council closed the road after the roadworks left too little space for large vehicles to pass safely. 'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150923-113235009

Raj Rutnam, who owns the Londis store opposite the roadworks, said work on the site meant the shops could no longer be seen from the A1101.

“We’ve been suffering since they started and this has made it worse for the customers” he said. “They can’t come in and all my neighbours have lost their parking in the road.”

Beck Row Parish Council vice-chairman Alan Vickerage said that even with the road open, customers struggled to get out of the shop car park because they could not see the’ temporary traffic lights.

But he said the situation worsened when workers dug beyond fencing around the trench, narrowing the road.

“Buses and large vehicles are having to go on the pavement to get past,” he added. “I had difficulty getting my caravan through.

“This is a development the village never wanted and yet again the village is suffering because of it.”

Suffolk County Council imposed an emergency closure after its highways engineers inspected the site following complaints.

A spokeswoman said: “They were not impressed by what they saw. They felt the traffic management methods in place were not good enough – they had gone too far out. ”

Paul Tull, contracts manager for Persimmon Homes Anglia, said: “One lane of the road has been closed for the past two weeks to enable our contractors, DS Watson Civil Engineering (Anglia) Limited, to connect the foul water drainage for this site.

“However, the unforeseen positioning of a water main required the trench to be extended and, as the safe vehicle passing width was compromised, the Highways Department inspected the site and granted an emergency road closure.

“DS Watson have acknowledged responsibility for the closure and both they and Persimmon Homes apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

He promised the road would reopen to single file traffic on Wednesday and said the work is expected to finish by the end of October.