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Ribble Valley traders’ fear over 23-mile traffic detour
TRADERS in the Ribble Valley have raised concerns over a 10-week road closure that will have a major impact on business in the area.
Plans to divert traffic in the Trough of Bowland before Christmas will see six miles of road near Dunsop Bridge being dug up, with a 23-mile diversion.
But United Utilities bosses have said work along the C477 is ‘essential’ to ensure Dunsop Bridge residents have safe supplies of drinking water.
Mark Fletcher, general manager at The Inn at Whitewell, said his business has been affected for the second time this year, and has seen a downturn in profits.
He said: “We are worried that, for the second time this year, the business will suffer because of roadworks. We are the main ones affected along the stretch of road and our main clientele, who are mostly from Lancaster, will find it difficult to get to us.”
Back in August, motorists were sent on a 25-mile detour as repairs to Croasdale Bridge were carried out, affecting residents and trade.
Mr Fletcher said: “Passers-by won’t come in because of the diversion as it’s not as easy for them to stop off. Travellers from the north will be put off, and villagers from Abbeystead will find it difficult to reach us. Because of the fall in trade, we will be looking for some compensation."
A United Utilities spokesman said seven-and-a-half miles of new pipework is needed.
He added: “The roadworks are essential. There’s a very severe drop on the side of the road, which means we have to put the pipes in the middle of the road. We ask people for their patience while we bring these homes into the local network. It will provide these homes with a more reliable, and safe, supply of drinking water for at least the next 80 to 100 years.”
The closures begin on October 22, starting at Trough Road, from Staple Oak Barn to Sykes Farm.
The diversion is via Marshaw to Scorton Road, along Long Lane, Fell Road, Delph Lane, Bleasdale Lane, Walker Lane, Lower Core Lane, Fiddlers Lane, Collins Hall Lane, Garstang Road, Talbot Street, Green Lane, Chipping Road, and Dunsop Road.