Businesses open as usual during A30 closure
TRADERS are appealing to loyal customers to help them maintain business as usual during the closure of a major road that provides access to their businesses.
Dorset Highways is planning resurfacing works on the A30 at East Stour. The affected stretch of road, between the Head Lane junction and the junction with the C106 New Lane, will be closed weekdays from 8am to 4.30pm from Monday 22nd October to Wednesday 31st October.
Traffic travelling between Henstridge and Shaftesbury will be diverted towards Gillingham along the B3092, which will be open as usual, and then along to B3081 to Shaftesbury.
However, Dorset Highways has confirmed that customers will be able to access all businesses along the A30 and provisions will be made for school buses.
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Brian Down of The Udder Farm Shop, which is located on the affected stretch of road, said: "There's no restriction on getting to the shop. People will see the road signs but they need to be persistent and drive on through.
"We will soldier on and open the shop and cafe as usual but we need to get the message across to our customers."
A spokesman for Dorset Highways said: "People will still be able to access the Udder Farm Shop, to the east of the crossroads, but how they do so will depend on where the works are taking place at any given time. Anyone heading there should speak to a member of the works team when they reach the road closure."
Several local traders based along the A30 have criticised Dorset Highways for failing to notify them of the traffic disruption. Even though they are not located within the closure, businesses including pubs, restaurants and petrol stations believe they could be affected by a reduction in passing trade between Henstridge and Shaftesbury.
Ross Campbell is landlord at the Kings Arms in East Stour, which is just outside of the closed stretch of road. He hadn't heard anything about the closure until he was contacted by the Blackmore Vale Magazine on Tuesday.
"It is unbelievable that nobody told us. Even though we aren't on the closed section, we will still be affected," he said.
Gavin Griggs at the Ship Inn in West Stour added: "There has been a distinct lack of communication. Had I not known a parish councillor, who forwarded an email with details of the closure to me, I wouldn't have known about it.
"People can still drive past The Ship but the impact on passing trade could be detrimental."
The County Highways spokesman said the authority usually only notifies businesses located within the closed stretch of road. "We do not generally contact premises outside the boundaries of a closure, as these can be accessed by vehicles as normal. However, we do notify local stakeholders, such as parish councils and passenger transport providers, to raise awareness of the works and help minimise disruption," he said.