Felixstowe: Road closure costs headache for royal wedding street parties

FAMILIES wishing to join Royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton in their wonderful day of celebration are today being thwarted by red tape – and the costs involved.

In parts of Suffolk, some residents wanting to hold street parties on the day of the nuptials, Friday, April 29, are facing bills for hundreds of pounds just to have a few signs erected to close off their road to traffic for a couple of hours.

On top of that they are being told they need public liability insurance in case there is a mishap during the event.

In Felixstowe, residents of Berners Road have been left shocked after seeing the costs begin to escalate.

Resident Rachael Porter said: “Not only do we have to have insurance to the tune of �5million – enough to cover two deaths and a complete road resurface, at a cost of �50 for the day, we also have to use a council approved contractor to provide and erect road closure signs.

“The one quote we’ve had back so far was for �350.

“We can understand that this is a Bank Holiday and that someone would need to come and put the signs up and take them down again, but surely if they brought the signs the day before and showed us where they should go, we could put them up. It is very disappointing.

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“The aim of our event was simply to have a small street party for the children really – something they would remember the Royal wedding by in years to come as we look back to Charles and Diana’s wedding when we were young.” Residents now feel holding the street party is impossible.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said the costs of closing roads depended on the type of road and would vary enormously – small cul-de-sacs would cost very little while a busy road would cost much more. Insurance was not a council issue.

In Ipswich the borough council has decided not to charge for road closures and only insists on insurance.

In Suffolk Coastal road closure requests are passed to the county council. Street parties and fetes for residents and neighbours only, with no selling taking place, are classified as small private events and do not need a licence to be held, but larger community events require a temporary event notice costing �21.

? Should councils be charging for road closures? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

? Are you having a street party? Let the Evening Star newsdesk know on 01473 324788.

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