Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C


Experts look at options to help shops claiming Woods Lane closure has hit trade in Woodbridge

PUBLISHED: 16:57 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:57 05 February 2018

Jill Barrett of Barretts of Woodbridge. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Jill Barrett of Barretts of Woodbridge. Picture: PHIL MORLEY


Options are being considered to provide help for town centre businesses that have seen trade drop in Woodbridge since a major road closure was put in place.

Woods Lane is hoped to open sooner than first scheduled. Picture: GREGG BROWNWoods Lane is hoped to open sooner than first scheduled. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A survey of traders in the Thoroughfare showed 27 out of 37 outlets questioned had found takings and footfall down since Woods Lane was shut as part of work to build 180 homes at Longwood Fields at Melton.

Businesses believe the closure is deterring people from visiting.

Some believe compensation should be available to make up for losses while others feels free parking after 3pm or opening up Suffolk Coastal’s old HQ car park on Melton Hill should be considered to ease the problems.

Jill Barrett, who owns home furnishing store Barretts of Woodbridge in the Thoroughfare, said: “Our takings were down 20% in November, then, fortunately, we had a stonking December when the road reopened, but since the road closed again in January we have seen a 15% drop, so there must be a link.

“It’s very frustrating because this has been going on for four months, which is really shocking – and all that time we have been asking for help.

“We are all still paying our massive rates and rents bills, so we still have our outgoings and our income is being affected.”

Mrs Barrett felt free parking after 3pm could help, as could use of the Melton Hill car park.

Deputy leader of Suffolk Coastal council, Geoff Holdcroft said: “The Suffolk Coastal officers are still examining options to try and alleviate the trading situation in Woodbridge.

“Parking in Woodbridge is still relatively cheap and the council is going to make a considerable investment in extra parking this summer. I realise that won’t help trade whilst the Woods Lane closure is with us, so they are examining a few options to help.

“Unfortunately, we have got nowhere with getting Bloor Homes to subsidise the cost so if a scheme is to be introduced it will be all the council taxpayers that will ultimately bear the cost.”

Suffoilk Coastal refused permission for the Woods Lane scheme but a Government inspector allowed it on appeal. Suffolk County Council has to permit the road closure for work to install services – the current closure until at least April 13 is for a new sewer. Developers Bloor Homes have been working with highways to minimise impacts on travel around the area.

A woman with 256 previous convictions is this week back behind bars after biting three members of staff at a Suffolk supermarket along with two others sentenced this week.

As the two-year anniversary of missing RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague’s disappearance approaches, his mother opens up about theories, potential new searches and her first grandchild.

Antisocial driving in around Ipswich town centre was targeted in an operation by Special Constables last night.

A Good Samaritan is travelling up to 70 miles a time to carry out handyman jobs for families of young people with life-threatening conditions.

Cautions and convictions for knife crime in Suffolk last year reached their highest levels since 2010.

Wet weather is forecast for today, with flooding expected tomorrow as ‘yellow’ weather warnings for wind and rain are issued.

Instagram has long been home to some of the best food photography on the internet, whether it is showing off an attempt at a new recipe or an amazing dish at a restaurant.

From an exciting announcement at Chantry Park to the opening of a cannabis lounge in Ipswich make sure you are up to date with our articles.

First responders raised hundreds of pounds to help their life-saving work through a sponsored charity event.

A new coastal branch of a Suffolk sixth form has opened with hopes to broaden opportunities for young people in the area.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24