A BUSINESS that had reopened just over a month ago has been forced to shut again due to roadworks on the A338.
Britford Farm Shop on Lower Road will be closed until September 28 due to road closures between Britford Park and Ride and the Harnham Gyratory.
The works, which started on September 3 and are due to finish on September 25, are for carriageway resurfacing and restructuring. Although the road will be open at weekends, the impact of the closure meant business owner Robert Lewis had no choice but to close.
He said: “Whilst the works are happening in sections in the daytime the road is completely closed off and the sign says road closed.
“My business is just outside the scope of the works and there are rat runs that you can use to get here but the main sign says road closed and only a handful of people will know where they are.”
After discussing the situation with his six members of staff, the 46-year-old took the decision to furlough his employees and shut the business again.
“[If I’d stayed open] I would be trading at a loss and I can’t afford to do that. This was the most sensible thing to do,” he added.
Also questioned by the trader is Wiltshire Council’s decision to schedule these works at a busy time, adding they could have perhaps taken place later in October.
Mr Lewis also says communication from the council has been “abysmal” as he only found out about the works on social media a few weeks before they were due to start.
Mark Hotson, of World of Furniture on Southampton Road, also spoke out about the impact of the works which last week caused major congestion around the city.
He said: “I’m just one person and this affects thousands of people travelling through our city, commuting to work and people trying to get to hospital to appointments. I get the point that the road needs repairing but I don’t understand completely why things can’t be done in a slightly better way.”
Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but these works are essential and need to be completed to make the road safe. Residents and businesses were informed of the works by letter in August, and we also displayed advance warning signs ahead of the works, and informed all local councillors.
“People can access Britford Farm Shop to the south of the works site, and access will be maintained at all times, as the shop is not in the closure area. Signs on the approaches to the works state that businesses are open as usual.”