Key route closure sees trade plummet for shops near city

Constitution Hill has been closed off

Constitution Hill has been closed off for county council works - Credit: Ben Hardy

Trade has plummeted for businesses where a busy road is temporarily closed off for major roadworks. 

Some shops have seen custom fall by as much as 30pc with people unable to access shops in Constitution Hill, a well-used route into the city centre between Old Catton and Sprowston.

The busy road was closed off on Saturday for a few days as the county council carry out improvements to the North Walsham Road, George Hill and School Lane junction. 

Road closure signs at the junction of Constitution Hill and School Lane 

Road closure signs at the junction of Constitution Hill and School Lane - Credit: Ben Hardy

But Ali Kerdegari, of Norwich Pine and Oak, said the closure has already had a big impact on his furniture business.

"Most of the customers are coming from a 30 to 40 mile radius so they can't get to us now," he said.

"Trade has gone down by about 30pc at least."

The convenience store at the junction is normally open seven days a week but has been closed over the past few days due to the roadworks.

The junction of George Hill, School Lane, Constitution Hill and North Walsham Road

The junction of George Hill, School Lane, Constitution Hill and North Walsham Road - Credit: Ben Hardy

At the end of the £83,300 project, the area will include three new signalised pedestrian crossings, an essential upgrade of traffic lights, and the road will be resurfaced.

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The junction itself has been fully closed for two weeks from February 19 for the new crossings to be built and improvements to the pavement and road.

Those living in Constitution Hill believe the roadworks will have a positive impact when they are completed next month. 

Homeowner Matt Bond, 44, said: "It can be hard to get across the road when you can't see cars coming around the corner.

"Cars do come quite fast down here sometimes so it can be a bit of a dash. If people are jumping the lights it does not give you much of a chance."

Another homeowner Shaun Freeman, 53, added: "They have got it well managed for us to access our homes during the closure.

"The road improvements will help us as we have a young girl so it helps with crossing the road for school in the morning. The traffic lights have been temperamental at the junction too." 

District councillor for the ward, Ken Leggett, has backed the scheme believing the long-term advantage of the road improvements outweighs the short-term disruption.

Kenneth Leggett, Broadland District Councillor has completed 50 Catton parkruns by walking them. Pic

Kenneth Leggett, Broadland District Councillor has completed 50 Catton parkruns by walking them. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Fellow district councillor Richard Potter said: "Whilst roadworks can be frustrating, the purpose of these particular works is to ensure safety at that junction remains a priority.

"I entirely sympathise with local business owners who may be impacted by the works but to minimise disruption they have been completed in stages."

The county council has been contacted.