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Trade fears mount as major route is closed
BUSINESS owners in the Winterbourne Valley and Ford fear a devastating effect on their trade following the closure of a major route into Salisbury.
The A338 was closed from St Thomas’ Roundabout to the junction of Hurdcott Lane on Saturday and it will remain shut until February 14, to allow for the replacement of the Broken Cross railway bridge.
Network Rail says the bridge needs to be replaced to allow higher freight trains to travel under it but traders say they have been “cut off”.
Wendy and Trevor Merrifield, from Winterbourne Post Office and Stores, say they will not get compensation from Network Rail, despite half of their business coming from passing trade.
Mrs Merrifield said: “There is no way people can get to us.
We’ve put a banner up to remind people in the village to support us because we won’t be getting any compensation.”
Mr Merrifield added: “We are seeing support from the locals and it is early days but it is a real hit for the village and bad planning.”
And despite being told there would be a number of signs put up at main junctions to list which businesses are open as usual, only one sign without any business names has gone up so far.
Ross Thompson, from the Black Horse Pub at Hurdcott, said: “One of the worst things about this whole thing is the length of time. Had this been three weeks we would have been able to handle it.”
Cars and light vehicles are being diverted along the A345 Castle Road and The Portway and all other traffic is being sent via the A303 and A360.
Access is maintained for residents, businesses and visitors to Ford via Ford Lane and a temporary carriageway allows access to Old Malthouse Lane.
Access to the village from the Roman Road/Ford Lane junction has been maintained but through traffic is restricted.
A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Residents and businesses have been spoken to on a regular basis making sure they are kept fully informed of what’s planned.
“Passes will be available for residents who live within the closure area. All business will remain open as usual and the situation will be monitored.”