'Warn shop owners before roadworks hit our customers' - butcher's plea after parking fines

George Debenham of butchers G Debenham

George Debman wants to see shopkeepers warned of future roadworks well in advance - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich shopkeeper has called for businesses to be warned in advance about roadworks, after customers were hit by parking fines.

Broadband work by City Fibre in the road has now been completed, and parking bays which were shut off are back in use.

However, butcher George Debman is still upset about his customers being driven away. He said: "I had a delivery of meat and they almost ticketed the driver, and an off-duty police officer was also ticketed."

George Debenham of the butcher's shop in Cliff Lane  

Butcher George Debman wants to see businesses warned of future roadworks well in advance - Credit: Archant

Last week, businesses said they only learned of the measures, which included the temporary suspension of parking bays and temporary traffic lights, on Monday, September 13 - the day they were put in place. 

But Mr Debman said he was not just concerned about the most recent roadworks, but also about others which have been carried out over recent months - and he called for better signage.

"When Cliff Lane was resurfaced three months ago, there were signs put up at both ends of the road which just said "Road closed' People thought they couldn't get to the businesses."

He added: "The businesses have had a lot of problems over the last 18 months. We need to be told well in advance when roadworks are being carried out or roads are being closed."

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A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: "It is the responsibility of the works promoter to notify residents/businesses of any works that they will be carrying out in the area.

"When works require a road closure, conditions are placed on the permit by Network Assurance to erect advanced notification boards, 14 days prior to works commencing. If these conditions are not adhered to, sanctions will apply as these are major works and cause major disruption to the travelling public."

The spokesman added: "All roadworks can be found on One.Network, and alerts can be set up to provide notifications of works in a chosen area of interest at the frequency that suits the user."

Ipswich Borough Council previously commented: "The suspension signs displayed are approved by the Department for Transport and are considerably larger than the standard signs that display the normal parking restrictions.  Motorists should always check the signs that advertise the parking restrictions, even if they are familiar with the area, in case changes have occurred."

Charles Kitchin, CityFibre’s city manager for Ipswich, previously said: "We are sorry to learn about the issue raised by local residents and the inconvenience this has caused.

"We always endeavour to minimise any disruption and complete all works as quickly as possible. We can assure residents that we endeavour to inform the community well ahead of work starting, which includes advance notice letters and speaking directly to individuals.  If it’s safe to do so, our contractors are also happy to move barriers when requested by businesses and residents."

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