Saturday, August 10, 2013
BUSINESSES in Newton Poppleford are voicing concerns about a major road closure that will affect the village for three weeks in October.
The works – with two-way traffic lights continuing for 16 weeks afterwards – will mean delays through Newton Poppleford well into 2014.
The road closure is due to replacement of a Victorian water main to “address the issue of frequent bursts in the area”.
The work – in the centre of the village – could affect many businesses. Some are already looking for compensation for loss of earnings.
South West Water has confirmed that it plans to replace 1,025 metres of Victorian water main in the village from October 5 onwards.
The £550,000 scheme will last “around” 19 weeks. It entails complete closure of the A3052 – the Exeter to Sidmouth main road bisecting the village – for three weeks.
The closure is between Venn Ottery Road and King Alfred Way. Diversions will be in place. Two-way traffic lights will be in use during the rest of the work.
Southern Cross guest house and tea rooms is on the junction of Venn Ottery Road and the A3052.
“It could close us for three weeks,” said Andrew Flaherty, Southern Cross’s owner. “We’re not going to get any business at all. And that’s our last before the winter sets in. October can be quite a busy month for us.”
A public meeting to view the plans and discuss the scheme will be on Wednesday, August 21, at Newton Poppleford Village Hall (4pm-7pm).
Staff – including representatives from South West Water, Devon County Transport, Devon County School Transport – will be available to answer questions.
Local residents have been informed about the meeting with a letter, entitled “Come and meet the team who will transform your water main”.
Mr Flaherty said he’d be attending the meeting and hoped South West Water might offer compensation for loss of earnings.
“It would be nice,” he said.
Other businesses – such as La Rosetta Italian restaurant and Popplefords restaurant – say they are concerned about the road closure but are not commenting further until after the meeting.
Anyone who cannot attend the meeting should call 0800 1691144.