Cornhill roadworks send customers away from Ipswich market traders

Ipswich market traders were angered by roadworks on their site at the weekend

Ipswich market traders were angered by roadworks on their site at the weekend Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

Ipswich market traders have been given an apology by the borough council after Saturday’s trading was disturbed by rescheduled construction work linked to the Cornhill redevelopment.

Traders had been promised that there would be no work on the top of Princes Street during market days – but on Saturday noisy construction work next to the stalls put off customers and provoked anger.

One trader said: “We’re already struggling here, and the borough assured us there would be no work in this area on market days – but now this has happened. People just aren’t stopping to shop here. It shows what the council thinks of us!”

A council spokesman said they were trying to avoid work on market days, and added: “We apologise to the market traders for the unscheduled timing of this cabling remedial work by UK Power Networks, who were working on a key phase of the Cornhill project.”

Market traders have said that the move away from the Cornhill has badly affected their trade since the work to rebuild the main town square began in February.

The bad weather at the start of the year did not help them – and the borough has tried to make life easier for them. Their rent payments have been waived until now.

One of the key promises was that the work on the Princes Street area would be undertaken on Mondays and Wednesdays when there is no market to avoid disturbing customers and traders.

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However it is understood that Saturday’s disruption happened because other work had been delayed and it was important to get this section completed to allow other work to start this week.

The work at the Cornhill is said to be on schedule – a pedestrian path through the Cornhill direct from Princes Street to Lloyds Avenue is due to open in the summer and the whole project is due to be completed by the end of October, well before the Christmas shopping season starts in the town centre.

The tank for the water feature has now been placed in the ground in front of the Town Hall and the work to level the Cornhill before final paving work can start should soon get under way.

The grand re-opening is expected to be a highlight of the build-up to the Ipswich Christmas celebrations towards the end of the year.