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Ipswich: Roadworks row rumbles on

Members of the Fore Street Business Community join represenatives of Suffolk County Council and Ben Gummer MP for a meeting about the problems caused by the roadworks in the area

Members of the Fore Street Business Community join represenatives of Suffolk County Council and Ben Gummer MP for a meeting about the problems caused by the roadworks in the area

Archant

BUSINESSES surrounded by long-running roadworks say they have suffered up to a 90 per cent loss in earnings.

Around a dozen frustrated traders based in Fore Street, Orwell Place, Upper Orwell Street and Eagle Street including Franco’s, K’s Coffee Lounge and The Townhouse restaurant attended a meeting at Ladies That Lunch in Fore Street yesterday morning to find a way forward.

National Grid has been carrying out the works to replace the gas mains since April. Sheryl McGeown, landlady of The Spread Eagle pub, said her takings are down by at least 50pc. At the moment I have no day trade. No one wants to sit in that noise,” she added.

Fellow business owners told The Star people think they are closed because of the roadworks, meaning their earnings are between 10pc and 90pc down.

The meeting was chaired by Suffolk county councillor Jane Chambers and attended by councillor Guy McGregor, cabinet member for roads and transport, the county council’s strategic traffic manager Peter Grimm and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

Mr Gummer pledged to speak to Ipswich Borough Council and National Grid about the business owners’ concerns, costly business rates and loss in takings.

Mr McGregor added: “We need to establish how long works will go on for and push for an urgent meeting with Ipswich Borough Council.”

Once National Grid has finished its work, the county council will finish off the resurfacing of the roads.

Yesterday, Raymond Miller, National Grid’s spokesman for the East of England, told The Star: “Our work in Ipswich is essential to replace some of the town’s ageing gas mains and has been a large, complex job. It has taken half the time it would normally take as we have used new technology where we insert new pipes into the old mains.

“It has also meant we have not had to dig a large trench along the whole route. Unfortunately part of this project has been particularly difficult and will take longer than we hoped.”

n Are you a business owner in the area who has a view on this? E-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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