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Convenience store sales hit by ‘unnecessary’ road closure

PUBLISHED: 18:05 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:04 22 January 2020

Vetti Sumaran, who says he has suffered a 30pc drop in trade since the road leading to his shop was temporarily closed.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Vetti Sumaran, who says he has suffered a 30pc drop in trade since the road leading to his shop was temporarily closed. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Archant

A Sheringham business owner claims he is losing more than 30pc of his trade, as a result of roadworks that were due to be completed nearly two months ago.

The entrance to Beech Avenue, Sheringham, which has been closed to allow contractors to lay sewage pipes.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLThe entrance to Beech Avenue, Sheringham, which has been closed to allow contractors to lay sewage pipes. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Vetti Kumaran, who has run Rayner's convenience store, at Sunway Park, since 2005, says contractors working for housebuilders Norfolk Homes have closed the entrance to Beech Avenue, which leads to his shop, three times since November 25, meaning customers travelling by car have to make a circular detour.

"The road was originally only meant to be closed for five days, but although it was opened again for a while in December, they blocked it off again at the beginning of January," he explained. "The problem is that people can't get direct access to my shop and, because there is a constant traffic jam during the day, people don't bother to turn off as they don't want to get stuck back in the temporary lights.

The cage blocking off the entrance to Beech Avenue, Sheringham.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLThe cage blocking off the entrance to Beech Avenue, Sheringham. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Beech Avenue, which, for the past three weeks, has been blocked off at one end by a metal cage containing construction equipment, leads directly onto Holway Road, where Aylsham Plant Hire engineers are working on laying sewer pipes connecting a 52-home development to the existing system.

Mr Kumaran, who opens his shop 365 days a year, including serving customers up until 4pm on Christmas Day, says he feels the road closure is unnecessary.

Vetti Sumaran, who says he has suffered a 30pc drop in trade since the road leading to his shop was temporarily closed.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLVetti Sumaran, who says he has suffered a 30pc drop in trade since the road leading to his shop was temporarily closed. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

"I just can't understand it as it is only being used for storage, but although it has been very disappointing for me sales-wise, the community here is like a family; everyone has been very supportive and, really, I just have to get on with it."

The road closure comes after months of disruption along Holway Road, which is the main route into Sheringham, with residents complaining about the noise of machinery and parents of pupils at nearby Sheringham Primary School faced with temporary crossings and problems with access at pick-up and drop-off times.

Norfolk Homes managing director Philip Makepeace, who said the closure was necessary to ensure site and traffic safety, hoped the work would be completed within a few weeks.

He added: "Any works involving highways are, by nature, very unpredictable and although this means it can take more, or less, time than expected, we do everything we can to minimise disruption, which is why we have re-opened Beech Avenue whenever possible."

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