Lower Farringdon motorcycle company complains about A32 closure
Another Lower Farringdon businessman has complained about the impact of Hampshire County Council’s closure of the A32 Gosport Road.
The road through the village will be shut for 15 weeks of flood prevention work – which started on June 27 – and last week this provoked the ire of Golden Pheasant pub owner David Scholes in the Herald.
Now Alistair Walker, managing director of motorcycle company Bahnstormer Motorrad Limited, has expressed his displeasure.
He said: “I’ve held back commenting until we have had a bit of time understanding the impact to our business. My considered opinion now is that it has a massive impact on us. All our passing trade and drop-in business has been wiped out, which has cut revenue in half.
“This is particularly tricky for us as we are a very seasonal business and so if we don’t make hay while the sun shines, the winter period will become even tougher than normal.
“There has been enough for everyone to cope with over the past few years without throwing another curve ball into the mix.
“I have emailed the council twice now, via the contact they gave us if we were experiencing problems, and have not had the courtesy of a reply to either. We’ll try with signage and marketing and see how we get on.”
Phase one of the work, lasting ten weeks, is from Manor Farm Road to Brightstone Lane, and the five-week second phase is from Brightstone Lane to Newton Valence Lane.
Cllr Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s executive lead member for transport and environment strategy, commented after Mr Scholes had spoken but before Mr Walker added his thoughts to the mix.
He explained that the work was designed to stop a repeat of flooding in 2000-01, which saw 16 homes evacuated, and in 2013-14, when 22 properties were affected.
Cllr Heron said: “I’m sorry to hear about Mr Scholes’ concerns about the works that we’re currently undertaking.
“This is a complex and challenging scheme and sadly this period of disruption is unavoidable.
“We will always do what we can to minimise the disruption of any work that we undertake on the highway and, as far as possible, we work with residents and businesses to that end.
“In this case, county council officers have spent time with local businesses, including The Golden Pheasant, in advance of the works to understand any concerns, and to build in provision to manage their access.
“However, compensation for planned highway works is not something that the county council is able to offer.”
Cllr Heron said the road would be opened temporarily, from August 5 to 16, while the Jalsa Salana and Boomtown festivals take place nearby.
He added: “The traffic management arrangements include carefully planned diversion routes to ensure that traffic, including heavy articulated lorries, are using like for like roads, and we will monitor those arrangements to ensure we take any possible opportunity to further minimise disruption.
“We will continue to meet with the local community to see whether it is possible to provide further improvements in the traffic management arrangements, and we will be keeping the works programme under review to see if the duration of the works can be shortened, and the A32 re-opened at the earliest date.”
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