Closed road is hitting resort trade

BUSINESSES on Felixstowe's main thoroughfare from the town to the seafront say closure of the road is losing them trade.

BUSINESSES on Felixstowe's main thoroughfare from the town to the seafront say closure of the road is losing them trade.

Bent Hill has now been shut for more than three weeks after parts of the road started to collapse - but Anglian Water said its contractors are working as fast as possible to get the repairs done.

The steep and winding hill was closed first in June after a four feet deep hole suddenly appeared and was repaired, but the problem was far more extensive than had been realised.

Last month more holes appeared as a leaking water pipe continued to erode material away beneath the surface, causing the road surface to cave in again.

The water company then had to bite the bullet and announce the road would be closed for several weeks in order to dig it up from top to bottom to sort out the problems once and for all.

For traders it has meant a loss of passing traffic, along with some pedestrians deterred by the work.

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Denise Moreton, owner of Ruby's Kitchen restaurant and tea room, said the road had closed on the very day her new business had opened.

She said: “We have only been here three weeks and two days and the hill has been closed three weeks and two days, so we don't really know how it has been affecting our business although I am certain it has had some impact on trade.

“The most aggravating factor has been the noise and the dust and having to keep the door shut which has made it less inviting for customers.”

Patrick Naylor, owner of the Leather Shop, said: “I will be glad when it is back to normal. We have lost the passing traffic so people don't see that we are here and many pedestrians are avoiding the area because of the work.”

The problems beneath Bent Hill - which joins Hamilton Road to Undercliff Road West - are connected with a storm drain, which has sprung leaks in several places.

The drain is now being relined with a new pipe made of a modern material which expands inside the old concrete pipe and then seals the network and all its joins. Junction pipes are also being resealed to try and ensure no water escapes in future. Anglia Water said the work should be finished soon.

Diversions have been set up with traffic being sent via Wolsey Gardens and Convalescent Hill.

Is Bent Hill better as a traffic-free zone? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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